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30 of 2,627 paintings
Saint Paul, who is dressed in a red cloak, directs the men in the foreground to burn a pile of books that represent the pagan tradition. He has travelled to the city of Ephesus (now part of Turkey) to encourage the Jews and Greeks to convert to Christianity, and his success is shown by the figure...
This altarpiece was commissioned by Francesco de Strata for the high altar of his chapel in the church of S. Paolo in Vercelli. The altar was dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, who appears twice in the painting. She stands in the place of honour on the right-hand side of the Virgin and Child, hol...
Not on display
This portrait of the careworn Pope Julius II (1443–1513) is usually dated to the one-and-a-half-year period during which he wore a beard. He grew it in 1510 as a token of mortification while recovering from a serious illness brought on by the loss of Bologna to the French, and vowed not to shave...
Dughet’s storm paintings were among his most admired works during his lifetime and in the eighteenth century. Two shepherds tending their flock struggle against the wind, their arms raised in alarm as they encourage their sheep to move down the path. The tree branches bend and twist against the f...
Not on display
Naked Venus, the goddess of love, throws her arms around handsome young Adonis to stop him from going out to hunt. The story is told in Book 10 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. One morning when Venus departs in her sky-borne chariot, Adonis’s hounds rouse a wild boar, which turns on him. Venus hears Adon...
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
The Virgin Mary gently supports the Christ Child as he plays with her hair. He casts a curious glance at his cousin, Saint John the Baptist, who is recognisable by the fine wooden cross tucked under his arm, a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. The Virgin’s fair complexion and golden hair were consi...
Christ’s body has just been taken down from the Cross, and his family and followers mourn over him – a moment known as The Lamentation. Rembrandt laboured over this small monochrome picture. He began by making an oil sketch on paper, then tore out a section and mounted the rest on canvas. He cont...
Not on display
Aert van der Neer was one of the most successful specialists in moonlit landscapes, and this is one of many he painted. The moon here has appeared only briefly, breaking through a tiny gap in a cloudy sky. The cool light creates a contrast between the deep darkness in the shadowy outlines of the...
Not on display
The story of Jupiter and Semele is told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The god Jupiter takes the mortal woman Semele as his mistress and makes her pregnant. When Jupiter’s wife, the goddess Juno, finds out, she disguises herself and suggests to Semele that her lover may not really be Jupiter. She tells...
Not on display
This picture is small, but it contains a lot of action. Franciscan friars (members of the religious order founded by Saint Francis) in brown robes hand out bread to the poor, an activity that was typical for them. The figure with the subtle halo most prominent among the friars is likely Saint Ant...
Not on display
This seemingly straightforward portrait was one of the National Gallery’s most controversial purchases of the nineteenth century. Bought in 1845 as ‘the Gallery’s first Holbein’, its authenticity was quickly cast into doubt. Recent dendrochronological analysis of the panel – a method of determini...
Not on display
This is the first of Lancret’s series of paintings depicting The Four Ages of Man.Ten wealthy children, a baby, a nurse and a governess are outside in a tiled neoclassical loggia. Two of the children are being taught to read by the governess, while the others are playing boisterous games. A boy a...
The Christ Child lies naked and glowing in the centre of the main panel of this arched altarpiece, adored by his parents and four saints. More saints stand in the pilasters. Recent research has identified the original location of this altarpiece as a small chapel in the castle of Cerreto Ciampoli...
Not on display
Taken from an episode in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, this painting shows the moment when Cephalus is horrified to find his wife Procris impaled and slumped against a tree, after he has accidentally killed her with his spear. He thought she was a wild animal – the deer fleeing over the horizon was his i...
Not on display
These are two panels from an altarpiece painted by Gaudenzio Ferrari between 1508—9 for the church of Sant’ Anna in Vercelli. It was commissioned by the local confraternity dedicated to Saint Anne for the altar of their oratory.The panels of the altarpiece were arranged in two horizontal rows of...
Not on display
According to an inscription on a tree stump in the centre, this painting shows the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca described in the Old Testament book of Genesis. The couple dance with tambourines, surrounded by other figures reclining and enjoying the festivities. The flat landscape and expanse of...
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
The New Testament recounts how, after his crucifixion, Christ rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. One of them, Thomas, was absent, and refused to believe in Christ’s resurrection without witnessing it himself. This painting shows their encounter, when Christ instructed Thomas to tou...
This painting depicts an episode from the Old Testament: the Queen of Sheba embarking on her journey to see King Solomon in Jerusalem. Crowned and dressed in red, the Queen descends the steps. The meeting was often painted, but it was unusual to depict the Queen’s embarkation. The soft warm light...
You've viewed 30 of 2,627 paintings