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30 of 2,622 paintings
Two women sit on a bed playing with a baby – one of them holds out an apple for the little boy to grasp in his chubby fingers. With an encouraging smile, the other points it out to him. The baby is Christ’s cousin, John. This is his naming day and he will grow up to be known as John the Baptist.Z...
Not on display
A young woman takes a moment from her spinning to look out from a dark room, her gaze direct. Although she holds a long length of raw half-spun wool, her mind isn‘t on the task. She’s more interested in whoever has taken her by surprise.Netscher specialised in small genre scenes before he took to...
Not on display
This dramatic scene of divine punishment is described in the Old Testament. The Philistines are stricken with plague in their city of Ashdod because they have stolen the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites and placed it in their pagan temple. You can see the decorated golden casket of the Ark...
Not on display
On the left a rocky hillside leads down to grassy pasture and a river. Cart tracks run through the pasture from the front edge. Cows graze, watched by a dog, and a lone washerwoman kneels on the right bank of the river, her white linen visible in the water. The river is the Cure in the Morvan reg...
Not on display
Duccio was the leading artist of fourteenth-century Siena. His style is characterised by elegant, flowing lines, soft colours and tender representations of the divine. Here, the Virgin’s cloak is defined by a fluid gold hem. Mother and child share an affectionate gaze as the infant Christ plays w...
David Teniers painted caricatures in imaginary landscapes, a background to his comic characters. Here, three men stand facing each other in a circle. One reaches into an inner pocket and looks with a shifty half-smile at the man in the blue coat, whose straight back hints at a military background...
Not on display
This painting is very similar to but roughly half the size of another landscape by Aelbert Cuyp, also in the National Gallery’s collection: A Distant View of Dordrecht, with a Milkmaid and Four Cows, and Other Figures. We don't know which was painted first but presumably one of Cuyp’s customers s...
Two peasant women and a child stand on the left, and black and white cart horses on the right. In the background two wagons are fully loaded with hay, and a dog perches on top of the one in the centre. The skyline of a village is shown in the distance.Monticelli made a number of paintings of peas...
On display elsewhere
This is a small, grisaille (painted in shades of black, white and grey) copy done by an unknown artist after a portrait by the Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck. It shows Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1587–1658), a courtier of King Charles I who opposed many of the King’s political and religio...
Not on display
Venus, the goddess of love, reclines languidly on her bed, the curve of her body echoed in the sweep of sumptuous satin fabric. The pearly tones of her smooth skin contrast with the rich colours and lively brushstrokes of the curtain and sheets.Venus‘ face is reflected in the mirror held up by he...
This graceful Virgin Mary seems to embody both motherly love and maternal sorrow. Her beautiful hands hold the Christ Child almost tentatively, as if to prevent him floating away. She gazes sadly at her son, and he too looks out with wary, hooded eyes, as if aware of his future.Mary’s halo is ins...
This painting, showing the Virgin and Child enthroned between Saints Francis and Sebastian, was the central panel of an altarpiece made for a family chapel in the Franciscan church at Fabriano, in the Italian Marches. At Francis’s foot, a stout little figure in widow’s dress is being presented to...
Not on display
Tulips, roses, jonquils, carnations, fritillaries and a single blue iris are massed into a Chinese vase; costly flowers in a costly container. Above them all, Madonna lilies rise like shining white trumpets at the peak of the bouquet, made slightly less regal by the tiny beetle making its way up...
This portrait of Dürer’s father, who is identifiable by the inscription, was given as a gift to King Charles I of England in 1636. When Charles was executed in 1649, it was sold. It eventually entered the National Gallery’s collection in the early twentieth century.There are four versions of the...
Not on display
Saint John the Baptist is shown between Saint Zeno, the fourth-century Bishop of Verona, and a female saint. Because of the finery of her clothing and her long flowing hair, she may be Saint Catherine, who was a princess from Alexandria. However, the saint is usually shown with the spiked wheel u...
Not on display
The Virgin and Christ Child are seen as if at an open window, with the infant perched on the sill. Mary gazes lovingly at her son and offers him her breast; images of the Virgin breastfeeding emphasised Christ’s humanity and vulnerability.Small religious panels like this were used as an aid to pr...
This panel was most probably the right-hand wing of a diptych (a painting made up of two panels), and was probably made in Cologne in the 1530s. The location of the left-hand panel is unknown, but it most probably showed the dead Christ.The figures huddle together and look in the direction of the...
Irises were among Monet’s favourite flowers, and he cultivated many different species, planting them in both his flower garden and his water garden. This is one of approximately 20 views or irises surrounding the banks of the lily pond that Monet painted around 1914–17. It is as though we are sta...
This is one of only two small-scale works by Cimabue, rediscovered in 2000. Soon after this, a link was made between it and a panel in the Frick Collection, New York, which depicts the Flagellation. They were both probably part of a much larger panel painted with small images showing the events l...
David Teniers the Younger made his fortune painting bawdy scenes like this one. They were popular with wealthy collectors who were proud of their own good manners compared with those ascribed to peasants (they also found the pictures amusing).The unfortunate young woman on her knees has lost a sh...
Not on display
We have a magnificent view of the Grand Canal in Venice during the annual regatta, which was held on 2 February and attracted large numbers of visitors each year. All eyes are on the one-oared gondolas racing up the middle of the canal. Just right of centre two craft swing around the bend, tilted...
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
Cornelis van der Geest was one of the most prominent art collectors of his day, so this commission must have been extremely important to Anthony van Dyck, who was only 21 at the time.He has taken a relatively conservative approach, using a traditional format: a close up of just the sitter’s face,...
Around 200 of Cézanne’s works depict male and female nude bathers, either singly or in groups, in a landscape. This large painting is one of three pictures of female bathers that Cézanne worked on during the final decade of his life. They represent the culmination of his lifelong investigation of...
Elderly Saint Elizabeth looks down over the Virgin Mary’s shoulder at her son Saint John the Baptist. The Christ Child removes a garland of flowers from his head, symbolising innocence or childish pleasure. He grasps the reed cross held by the infant Saint John, who wears his camel-skin cloak and...
This young woman appears to have been startled by something – she turns her head and clasps her blouse to her chest. Her expression seems calm, however, perhaps suggesting that she is familiar with whatever has distracted her. Her pose is based on the Medici Venus, a famous marble sculpture of th...
Not on display
Three men, one with a crown, stand in a landscape. They hold between them a large piece of paper, while two are pointing to a classical city in the background. The gods Apollo and Neptune have disguised themselves as mortals to advise King Laomedon on the building of Troy.This is one of ten fresc...
A wine glass, a flask-shaped carafe, a knife and a plate of fruit are shown on a table, set against a flat dark background. The table is covered by a cloth decorated with flowers and blue stripes that help create a sense of recession into depth.Most of Monticelli’s still life paintings were made...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,622 paintings