The Beaumont Gift
It was his visit to Italy in 1821 which convinced Beaumont of the need to educate public taste. He began to campaign vigorously for the creation of a national gallery. He offered 16 of his paintings to the nation on the condition that the British Government would buy the collection of John Julius Angerstein and that a suitable building be found to display the pictures.
When Angerstein’s collection came up for sale in 1824, Parliament responded to Beaumont’s offer and bought 38 of the Angerstein pictures. The National Gallery opened in 1824 (in Angerstein’s town house). Beaumont’s paintings entered the collection two years later.