Ben Johnson: An Artist’s Perspective

Take an online audio tour of the collection with artist Ben Johnson – discover how painters throughout history have constructed architecture and space.

To coincide with the Sainsbury Wing exhibition Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals, the National Gallery invited artist Ben Johnson to show work that considers the urban landscape in Ben Johnson: Modern Perspectives.

Johnson’s display included cityscapes of Zurich and Liverpool alongside a new painting of Trafalgar Square based on Canaletto’s The Stonemason’s Yard, which he completed in public.

About the online audio tour                    

The online audio tour takes you around seven National Gallery paintings that Johnson has selected, and discusses. Find out why tapestry-makers inspired Seurat’s revolutionary painting technique and how mathematics underpins art.

Select a painting from the list below to begin the tour.

Paintings in the tour

Canaletto: 'The Stonemason's Yard'
The Stonemason's Yard

about 1725

Antonello da Messina: 'Saint Jerome in his Study'
Saint Jerome in his Study
Antonello da Messina

about 1475

Holbein: 'The Ambassadors'
The Ambassadors
Hans Holbein the Younger

about 1533

Vermeer, 'A Young Woman standing at a Virginal'
A Young Woman standing at a Virginal
Johannes Vermeer

about 1670–2

Caspar David Friedrich: 'A Winter Landscape'
A Winter Landscape
Caspar David Friedrich

probably 1811

Seurat: 'Bathers at Asnières'
Bathers at Asnières
Georges Seurat

about 1440

Attributed to Gentile Bellini: 'A Man with a Pair of Dividers (?)'
A Man with a Pair of Dividers (?)
Attributed to Gentile Bellini

about 1440

Banner image above: Detail from Ben Johnson in his studio, working on the painting 'Looking Back to Richmond House', 2010
© Ben Johnson 2010. All Rights Reserved DACS.