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30 of 2,620 paintings
We are in a dingy tavern with a small gathering of drinkers and smokers squatting on low wooden stools and chairs. The focus of their attention – and ours – is the tussle going on between a man and a young woman on the left-hand side of the painting.The depiction is unusually lewd. The man, his t...
Mars, the god of war, is presented with a choice. Should he continue his march into war, or should he show mercy and retreat? Figures representing the different qualities of war and peace surround him, encouraging him to follow their example. Alecto, one of the three goddesses of vengeance (known...
Not on display
The unknown young man in the portrait looks out gravely but with the hint of a smile about his mouth. He wears garments fashionable in 1657, the year the painting was made: a flat lace collar, the two ends of the stock that ties it peeping out below, and multiple buttons down the coat, left undon...
Not on display
This work is almost a portrait of a building: the imposing facade of the Palazzo Grimani fills nearly the entire composition. Boatmen emerge from the left and right just in front of us, adding a sense of movement, while figures composed of dots and daubs of paint stand on the palace’s steps.Palaz...
Not on display
A drinking glass, a vase, a plate of oysters, some small fish – probably sardines – and a half-peeled lemon lie on a table against a flat dark background. The highly patterned tablecloth is also present in the artist’s Still Life: Fruit and A Vase of Wild Flowers (both in the National Gallery), m...
Not on display
This small painting is an incomplete copy of a panel titled The Perfect Accord (L’Accord parfait), which Watteau probably painted between 1717 and 1719, and is now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This pastoral scene of a couple strolling in the countryside as other peop...
Not on display
Barye was primarily a sculptor, particularly of animal bronzes. In 1841 he began painting landscapes in oil, and by the end of the decade he was regularly visiting the forest of Fontainebleau, south-east of Paris, where he painted alongside members of the Barbizon group of landscape painters. Alt...
On display elsewhere
Paintings of life on the frozen waterways of Holland during the Little Ice Age were very popular with collectors at the time. Many artists, usually known for painting rivers or landscapes, produced them, and Adriaen van de Velde was one of the most successful. But in this painting he has concentr...
Against the setting sun, three hunting dogs rest beside an overflowing basket of dead birds and game. The two on the right are chained up; one sniffs the ground or laps water from an unseen bowl while the other stares, distracted, out of the picture frame. The unchained dog looks quizzically at a...
Not on display
An unidentified Franciscan friar kneels in veneration before the Virgin and Child. The Virgin looks down at him and touches the top of his head. Christ, sitting on her knee, holds a flower and raises his right hand in blessing.Saint Catherine, holding the wheel on which she was tortured and the p...
Not on display
This is one of Domenichino’s most famous landscapes, and also one of his largest. It is closely based on Annibale Carracci’s Flight into Egypt, painted for the chapel of the Aldobrandini palace in Rome (Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome), one of the most influential classical landscape paintings in t...
Not on display
This painting was the central panel of an altarpiece commissioned in 1506 by the foreign students of Pavia University for their chapel in S. Maria del Carmine, one of the most important churches in Pavia. Saint Sebastian was especially revered in the town as, according to legend, the plague of AD...
Not on display
In this busy but peaceful scene Abraham Storck shows an idealised version of life on a Dutch river in the seventeenth century, but his painting of the vessels is detailed and accurate. The rising sun is hidden behind the sails of the man-of-war (the great warship coming in from the sea) and the g...
Not on display
This altarpiece is a unique example in the National Gallery’s collection of a work made by a late medieval artist working on both sides of the Adriatic, the sea between Italy and the Balkan coast. The picture may be one of the earliest painted representations of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conce...
Not on display
This painting is an early copy of one of the most celebrated of Correggio’s small religious paintings. For a long time it was regarded as Correggio’s genuine version, even after the arrival in London of the original from the Spanish Royal Collection (now in Apsley House, London). The Apsley House...
Not on display
Threatened with marriage to a monster Psyche, a mortal, is blown away by the West Wind. She awakens near a magical palace and falls in love with Cupid. He makes Psyche promise not to look at his divine face, but she breaks this promise and Cupid abandons her. The subject of this painting is taken...
Alexandrine-Emilie Brongniart (1780–1847) was most likely eight years old when this engaging portrait of her was painted by the celebrated artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Wearing an informal knotted scarf on her head, matching white dress and a translucent shawl around her shoulders, Emili...
This is the left-hand shutter of a three-part folding altarpiece commissioned by the English merchant, Paul Withypool. The other shutter, which is also in the National Gallery’s collection, shows Saint Ursula.Saint Catherine holds a fresh green palm, the symbol of martyrs – those killed for their...
On display elsewhere
A path runs along a white wall with a grassy common to the right. The wall features two pale brown gates. Trees behind the wall suggest a garden or orchard. The tonality is light, with the pale grey paint of the wall overlaid with small, square touches of creams, yellows and pinks, giving a sense...
Not on display
During his stay in Paris in the 1860s Monticelli began to paint fêtes galantes. This term derives from the pictures depicting elegantly dressed men and women, generally placed in a parkland setting and engaged in conversation, that became popular in eighteenth-century France, most often associate...
Not on display
It is unusual to see these four images grouped together like this. This arrangement and the evidence of hinges at the panel’s right edge suggest that it was once part of a larger work made up two or more connected panels.Clockwise from top left, we see the coronation of the Virgin (when Christ cr...
This warm, tranquil port scene is bathed in sunlight: the clock on the building to the left records the time as five o'clock. A coat of arms with three golden fleurs-de-lis (emblem of the French king) above the clock and on the ship’s flags to the right suggests this painting was intended for a F...
This large altarpiece was painted by Carlo Crivelli in 1491 for a family chapel in the Franciscan church in Matelica, a small town in the Italian Marches. The Ottoni were the local ruling family – you can see their coat of arms placed conspicuously on the bottom edge of the main panel.The locatio...
Not on display
This is one of 14 views of the Boulevard Montmartre in Paris that Camille Pissarro painted in 1897. These include the boulevard seen in snow, rain, fog, mist and sunlight, and in the morning, afternoon, at sunset and at night. The picture is the only example of a night painting by Pissarro.Pissar...
On display elsewhere
This panel shows Saint Ursula, and was once the right-hand shutter of a three-part folding altarpiece made for Paul Withypool, an English merchant and courtier. The opposite shutter, also in the National Gallery’s collection, shows Saint Catherine, while the central panel (in Bristol Museums and...
On display elsewhere
Country peasants and smartly dressed gentlefolk assemble for a feast on the rolling hills outside Antwerp, seen silhouetted on the horizon. Cooks are busy preparing the meal in large cauldrons while birds wheel in the sky above, anticipating the pickings soon to be had. A stone cross carved with...
Not on display
This bronze statue shows the Roman god and hero Hercules fighting the giant Antaeus in one of his ‘Twelve Labours'. Antaeus could not be killed while he remained in contact with his mother, the Earth. Hercules, who was famous for his strength, was able to lift the giant and crush him to death.The...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,620 paintings