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30 of 2,627 paintings
This small oil painting on millboard has a false signature of the Dutch artist Matthijs Maris. Maris studied in The Hague and Antwerp and also worked in Paris from 1869 to 1877 – his Men Unloading Carts, Montmartre (National Gallery, London) was painted during his time there. He settled in London...
Not on display
This altarpiece was commissioned by Benedetto Buonvisi for his family chapel in Lucca. The Virgin Mary and Saint Anne are seated on a throne. The infant Christ leans across his mother’s lap towards his grandmother to reach for the fruit she offers him.The Virgin appears lost in thought, perhaps c...
The Reverend William Holwell Carr (1758–1830) was the son of an Exeter apothecary. In 1797 he married Lady Charlotte Hay, eldest daughter of the 15th Earl of Erroll and his wife Isabella Carr. The following year Lady Charlotte inherited large Carr estates in Northumberland.From about 1805, Holwel...
Not on display
A naked young satyr, just like a little boy but with pointed ears and a curly tail, swings from a vine to pick grapes. This irregularly shaped panel was part of a musical instrument, probably a kind of harpsichord. Together with Silenus gathering Grapes it would have formed the inside of the lid...
Not on display
The story of Leda and the Swan is a Greek myth which exists in various versions. Leda, the wife of the king of Sparta, was loved by the god Jupiter (Zeus in Greek) who transformed himself into a swan and seduced her. As a consequence she gave birth to the twins Castor and Pollux, who were hatched...
Not on display
This was probably made when Steen was still in his early twenties and is one of many small paintings that he produced around this time. The theme of peasants drinking and dancing was a common one in Steen’s work, as was the central joke of an older man propositioning a younger woman. At least two...
Not on display
This is an oil sketch Rubens made in preparation for an altarpiece for St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent; it shows the scene that appeared on the left panel. The two women wearing gold crowns are Saints Gertrude and Begga, the sisters of Saint Bavo (who appears in the central panel). Saint Bavo was a Ro...
A wild, mountainous landscape stretches out before us, with sharp snowy peaks silhouetted against the sky. In the middle distance, just beyond the rushing waterfall, a town – complete with campanile (bell towers) and classical buildings – perches on a hilltop. In the foreground, a handful of figu...
Not on display
Barocci represents the holy family in the charming domestic setting of a bedchamber in a Renaissance palace. The infant Christ turns from feeding at his mother’s breast to observe his cousin, John the Baptist, who is teasing the household cat with a goldfinch. The bird is a traditional symbol of...
This painting is in extremely poor condition, making it very difficult to identify the artist; it is now thought to be by the Munich painter Hans Mielich. The woman’s name is not known but her headdress is typical of those worn in southern Germany in the sixteenth century.
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...
This is traditionally said to be a portrait of the Englishman John Scott, who bought the estate at Banks Fee, near Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire, in 1753. During the early 1770s – around the same time as this work was produced – Scott did travel to Rome, where the famous portraitist Batoni...
The infant Bacchus, god of wine, drinks from a bowl into which a satyr squeezes grape juice representing wine. Paintings commonly show Bacchus as a drunken adult, but to show him drinking alcohol at this young age is unusual. Ovid’s Metamorphoses describes how Bacchus' aunt Ino watches over him....
An ageing bearded man looks out of the painting, holding a statuette in his left hand. He is painted within an oval fictive stone frame and the statuette emerges from the painted space into our own, making the sitter seem all the more lifelike. The statuette indicates that the man represented her...
Not on display
This impassive face is almost certainly that of Jan van Eyck himself, and the painting a powerful statement of his artistic skill. His motto, Als Ich Can, is painted in Greek letters on the upper frame; the words are an abbreviation of a Flemish saying and a pun on Jan’s name: ‘as I[ich/Eyk] can...
A young girl in three-quarters view looks up and out of the picture to the left. Her transparent shawl, known as a fichu, covers one shoulder but has fallen off the other. Her white muslin dress is only loosely held up over her chest, an effect enhanced by her bodice having come undone. There was...
This painting shows the inside of the famous rotunda (demolished in 1805) at Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea. Ranelegh opened in 1742 as one of London’s most prestigious pleasure gardens, and its main attraction was this vast circular building in which fashionable society could attend balls and liste...
After a female friend boasted of the jewels she owned, Cornelia Africana, a widowed Roman matron and mother of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus (known as the Gracchi), declared her sons to be her jewels. Cornelia educated the boys after their father’s death and they went on to serve as tribunes (power...
Not on display
This is one of three self portraits Rembrandt made just before his death in 1669. About 80 survive from his 40-year career, far more than any other artist of his time. He painted them for different reasons – to practise different expressions, to experiment with lighting effects, and also to sell...
In the Book of Genesis, God orders Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son, on one of the mountains in the land of Moriah (near Jerusalem). This painting shows them walking on a path towards woodland on the third day of their journey as they approach the place of sacrifice. Isaac struggles under...
Not on display
This view is taken from the west bank of the Tiber looking towards the Castel Sant’Angelo. The specific event depicted has not been identified but river jousts were a popular official form of entertainment, and attracted large crowds of spectators.The flag at the stern of the boat at the left bea...
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