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30 of 2,657 paintings
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
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...
The Christ Child, naked but with a gilded halo, lies on a bed of straw. Golden rays shoot out around him. Kneeling around Christ in adoration are his parents and four saints. God the Father appears above, and more saints stand in the pilasters to the sides of the main scene. On the far left the f...
This is the oldest picture in our collection. It shows the Virgin Mary, seated on a throne with the Christ Child on her lap, within a mandorla (an almond-shaped enclosure). Around them are eight scenes of the lives of various saints; two show Saint John the Evangelist and two show Saint Nicholas....
Not on display
In this monumental painting, Venus, the goddess of love, is attended by the Three Graces, who carefully fasten her sandals and jewellery. Her son Cupid stands before his bow and arrow in the foreground, delicately holding a pearl earring between forefinger and thumb, while a putto reaches through...
A priest, Simeon, receives the infant Christ from the Virgin Mary, ready to perform the Jewish rite of circumcision. Two women cup turtle doves in their hands, the traditional offering for the ritual of purification, made after a woman had given birth (Luke 2: 21–24).Simeon recognised Christ’s di...
A wine drinker – a stout fellow with a handsome moustache – represents Autumn in a series of paintings by David Teniers that gives each season a human form. A white sash cradles a comfortable belly, and stretched over it is a wine-coloured jacket. His fat neck disappears into the collar of his ja...
Not on display
A bearded Saint Philip stands in a landscape, immersed in a book. A slender cross rests against his shoulder, with another cross attached to it where Christ’s crucified body would have been hung, a reference to Philip’s martyrdom (he was crucified upside down).This painting was originally part of...
Not on display
The dancers in Degas’s painting are clouded in a mist of tulle, but two striking heads of red hair seem to anchor the blurred forms moving in space. Arms and legs curve and stretch, delicate white skirts toss and sway. The white tutus depicted here are the practice dress worn by the younger dance...
Not on display
A supremely poised young woman is painted in three-quarter view. Her right hand curls around the handle of a mirror, while she appears to be caressing a lock of hair with her left. She wears a white blouse under a black velvet bodice and yellow detachable sleeves over her arms. This study is one...
Guardi’s shimmering brushwork gives this picture a magical quality. On the far side of the square, the facade of the Basilica di San Marco glows, while a blaze of sunlight warms the sky behind the Procuratie Vecchie, the offices of the Republic’s administration, to the left.Although the figures a...
Not on display
Saint George, with the remains of the dragon he has slain beside him, and an unidentified female saint kneel with their hands on their hearts in reverence. This painting is a fragment of a larger work, probably a single-panel altarpiece of the Virgin and Child with saints. The Virgin and Child wo...
Not on display
Threatened by a raging sea, two women cling to each other in distress while a boy waves an improvised flag, desperately calling for help. Foaming waves encircle their half-submerged rock. They could be the survivors of a shipwreck; caught by the tide, their lives are at the mercy of the elements....
Not on display
A saint in a red dalmatic (a long, wide-sleeved tunic) collapses to the ground as a crowd throw stones at him. This is the death of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Stephen was a deacon in the early Church and, according to the Acts of the Apostles, enraged the authorities in Jerusalem...
Not on display
A young child is being taught by an older girl, perhaps in her early teens, who is possibly an elder sister or another relation such as a cousin. Despite the picture’s title, this is a private lesson, probably taking place at home rather than at school. The younger child is most likely a boy, alt...
This panel is one of three that come from the lower tier of an altarpiece made for the Duke of Milan; the other two are also in the National Gallery’s collection.The Archangel Raphael is the hero of the Book of Tobit, which is part of the Roman Catholic Bible. Tobit sent his son Tobias on a long...
This is almost certainly a portrait of Susanna Lunden (1599–1643), daughter of the Antwerp merchant Daniel Fourment, an old friend and client of Rubens. The portrait was probably made soon after her marriage to Arnold Lunden.It’s a highly distinctive painting – the sitter’s dark, oversized eyes a...
This painting is of a summer landscape in Cézanne’s native Provence in the south of France. Like the Impressionists, Cézanne was interested in depicting the landscape primarily using touches of colour. Although this painting shows Cézanne’s debt to Impressionism, his method is more controlled. Fo...
Solario most probably trained as a painter in Venice, where he would have been aware of the works of Giovanni Bellini, the city’s most highly regarded painter. This picture shows the influence of Bellini’s images of the Virgin and Child that were made for private worship. The holy figures stand b...
There is no doubting who is the star of this group of musicians. The fair-haired woman in a bright pink dress with gold-trimmed sleeves and elaborate lace collars is clearly the centre of our attention. She is bathed in sunlight which also catches the curves and polished surface of her viola da g...
Not on display
This triptych – a folding picture in three parts – was most likely made for private contemplation and worship. The central image shows Christ crowning the Virgin Mary after her ascension to heaven. Orderly tiers of cherubim and seraphim (the blue and red winged creatures at the very top), angels...
Not on display
These three oil sketches, or modelli, were made by Rubens in preparation for an altarpiece for St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, which was commissioned by Bishop Maes around 1611. The central panel shows Saint Bavo, a Roman solider who left the military to join the Christian Church, standing on the ste...
Not on display
Cornelius Johnson spent much of his career working in London, but this portrait of an unknown lady was painted in Holland in 1655, 12 years after he left England.The black costume was fashionable at the time, but the gown must have belonged to the artist rather than the lady as it appears in at l...
Not on display
The Three Kings – Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – present gifts to the Christ Child in the ruins of a grand building. The Virgin Mary sits on the edge of the manger while Saint Joseph, her husband, comes down a staircase just visible to the left. A crowd of curious onlookers, some wearing turban...
Not on display
The story of Eurydice and Aristaeus is told by the Roman poet Virgil. In the far distance Orpheus, Eurydice’s husband, charms wild animals with his music. Three nymphs gather flowers, unaware that the shepherd Aristaeus is pursuing Eurydice. She is bitten by a snake as she runs away. Identifiable...
This was the first of four battle scenes painted by Vernet for the Duke of Orléans. It shows the Battle at Jemappes, which took place on 6 November 1792 near the Walloon town of Jemappes. At that time Jemappes was in the Austrian Netherlands but is now part of the city of Mons in south-western Be...
This is a rare example of a work by Niccolò di Buonaccorso – one of the most gifted Sienese artists of the fourteenth century. The panel belongs to a series of three: the others show the Virgin as a child in The Presentation of the Virgin (Uffizi, Florence) and The Coronation of the Virgin by Ch...
The Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist stand in Christ’s red marble tomb supporting his lifeless body. He is partially covered by a burial shroud, but the spear wound on his side is visible. The Virgin mourns her son, wiping her eyes with her veil. John the Evangelist places his hand to hi...
You've viewed 30 of 2,657 paintings