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30 of 2,662 paintings
Verrocchio had a large and active studio in Florence, and trained many artists who would become leading figures in the Florentine Renaissance, including Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. He usually collaborated closely with his students, giving them the opportunity to work on important parts of a...
The sky is moody but the scene is one of pastoral tranquillity. A golden light picks out the flanks of the animals which rest peacefully in the foreground and the figure of the woman who chats to the shepherd. This was a fashionable atmospheric effect, characteristic of Italianate landscape paint...
Not on display
The Virgin’s cousin Saint Elizabeth kneels to present the infant Saint John the Baptist to the Christ Child, who is held by his mother. With its warm colours, golden light and sweet interaction between two infants, this intimate scene is very touching. Saint Joseph leans on what looks like a long...
Not on display
In 1893 Monet bought a plot of land next to his house in Giverny. He had already planted a colourful flower garden, but now he wanted to create a water garden ‘both for the pleasure of the eye and for the purpose of having subjects to paint'. He enlarged the existing pond, filling it with exotic...
Not on display
It is the animals which take centre stage in this picture. On a grassy riverside knoll, four cows and a magnificent jet black horse are spotlit by the warm afternoon sun. Aelbert Cuyp was a brilliant painter of these beasts, especially cattle. He knew exactly how to convey their languor and ponde...
Not on display
Two women retrieve a baby from a basket floating in a river, while four others look on from the bank. According to the Old Testament story (Exodus 2: 5), the infant Moses was hidden by his mother in a reed basket on the River Nile to save him from Pharaoh’s order that all the male children of the...
This is one of two paintings originally commissioned as a pair by Stanislas Augustus, King of Poland, in June or July 1772. However, concerned that the King was slow to pay, Vernet instead sold the pictures to the British officer and East India Company official Lord Clive (known as Clive of India...
This painting is one of a series of panels painted in 1515 for the Florentine bedchamber of Pierfrancesco Borgherini. They tell the life of Joseph from the Old Testament and were probably originally set into furniture.Joseph’s brothers, who sold him into slavery as a boy, come to Egypt to seek gr...
Not on display
Crivelli painted two altarpieces for the small church of San Domenico, in the town of Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. Their history is complex and intertwined. A large, double-tiered polyptych (a multi-panelled altarpiece) sat on the high altar, while a smaller altarpiece was in a side chape...
Not on display
Although the vast majority of the picture is taken up by the landscape, our perception of it hinges on the two figures standing in the gateway. The angle created by the dead tree and stumps in the left foreground guides our gaze to them, as does the red dress of the milkmaid, which stands out str...
Not on display
Saint Jerome spent two years in the desert, living a life of poverty and self-denial. As a punishment for sinful thoughts, he would – as we see here – beat his body until it bled. He was originally shown looking towards a vision of Christ, arms outstretched on a cross made of beams of light. This...
Van Gogh painted several versions of A Wheatfield, with Cypresses during the summer of 1889, while he was a patient in the psychiatric hospital of Saint-Paul de Mausole, in the village of St-Rémy in the south of France. A first version, which he described as a study, was painted on site in late J...
The stretch of water in the foreground almost certainly lies near to Daubigny’s home in Auvers-sur-Oise. Its surface is covered with vegetation, including clumps of reeds and water-lilies. A woman in a red and white hat sits at the far side, under a clump of alders. This is an evening scene, with...
Christ’s disciples were gathered together 50 days after his death when, according to the Bible, a strong wind began to blow. Flames like ‘tongues of fire’ appeared on their heads and they were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 1–4). This event, called Pentecost, was when the disciples were give...
Not on display
This painting carries many of the hallmarks of an Italianate picture: a soft Mediterranean light, the sun still warm although night is falling, distant hills not likely to be seen in a flat Dutch landscape, and idealised peasants with their garments loosened and walking at a leisurely pace. As fa...
Not on display
Diana, goddess of hunting, stands between the huntsman Cephalus and his wife Procris. Procris gives her husband a spear, carried here by an attendant, and a magic dog. The painting is loosely based on a story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The title suggests that the pair are being reunited after a fal...
The infant Christ is seated on the Virgin’s lap, accompanied by saints in the meadows of a mountainous landscape. The large semi-ruined classical building behind the Virgin and Christ divides the composition into three, making them appear enthroned in the centre.Saint James sits reading on the ne...
Not on display
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...
Not on display
This is a very early work by Bernardo Bellotto, the talented nephew of the influential Venetian artist Canaletto. It was painted in around 1738, when he was only about 16 years old and working in his uncle’s studio in Venice. By this time Bellotto was creating his own versions of some of Canalett...
This is an affectionate portrayal of one of Murillo’s most devoted patrons, Don Justino de Neve. The inscribed tablet on the wall reveals that the portrait was made in 1665 and was a gift from the artist – a gesture of friendship.Murillo’s regard for his friend is obvious in the way he presents h...
A young woman sits on a stone bench in a garden. She leans on a plinth as if trying to be at ease but her bodice, stiffened with whalebone, forbids her to relax. She sits upright, her eyes alert as if expecting someone. Who she might be expecting remains a mystery, since we don't know her identit...
Not on display
This life-size double portrait shows the youngest sons of the 3rd Duke of Lennox: Lord John Stuart, on the left, with his brother Lord Bernard Stuart. They were only about 17 and 18 but they ooze aristocratic superiority and are dressed in extravagant fashion.Van Dyck’s ability to evoke the textu...
William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh steps forward, gun in hand. He is shown life-size. We look up at him from below, which emphasises his commanding pose, but the elegance and urbanity usually present in Anthony van Dyck’s formal portraits seems to be missing. This is partly because of the Earl...
We have interrupted a young man reading; he turns to look over his shoulder at us. The unguarded look creates the impression that we are seeing him as he really is. His identity is uncertain, although he may be the stationer Lorenzo di Matteo Peri, whose family commissioned Andrea del Sarto’s Dis...
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
This small painting beautifully evokes the lushness of the natural world. A young man rests against the base of a tree and turns his head towards us. He holds one hand to his mouth as if playing a flute just out of view, a pose derived from images of the classical hero Orpheus charming the animal...
A legend about Saint Mark tells how the servant of a knight of Provence disobeyed his master’s command that he was not to venerate the relics of Saint Mark, and was ordered to be stretched on the rack and have his legs broken. He lies naked on the ground surrounded by his torturers and a crowd of...
Not on display
Abbé Scaglia (1592–1641), cleric, diplomat, spy and one of Van Dyck’s most important patrons, commissioned this painting while suffering from ill health and in a reflective state of mind. It was meant for the church of the Recollect order of Augustinians in Antwerp; within a few years Scaglia wou...
A pale, clean-shaven young man, naked but for a loincloth, is bound to a tree. He gazes towards heaven, seemingly unaffected by the four arrows which pierce his upper body. This Saint Sebastian, a Roman soldier who secretly converted to Christianity and was executed for his faith.This altarpiece...
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