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30 of 2,647 paintings
In 1890 Gauguin was staying at Marie Henry's boarding house in Le Pouldu, Brittany. The headland in this painting is at the western end of the beach, about a mile from the village itself.Gauguin painted other versions of this landscape, all of which are characterised by the strongly defined forms...
Not on display
This graceful golden-haired princess comes from a predella, a row of scenes along the base of an altarpiece, or from the frame of an altarpiece. She is Saint Catherine, shown with her traditional attributes of a spiked wheel and a cactus-like martyr’s palm.To show off his skill with foreshortenin...
Not on display
A curtain has been pulled back on van Deuren’s young astronomer to reveal the stargazer looking not at the heavens but at a celestial globe, marked with northern and zodiacal constellations, that he has taken from its stand. A notebook and inkpot sit on his desk awaiting his observations; books o...
Not on display
Jacob van Ruisdael was the foremost seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painter, and even paved the way for the rural scenes Thomas Gainsborough painted in England in the eighteenth century. Gainsborough admired and made copies of van Ruisdael’s work, but rather than the pastoral views that appea...
Not on display
This is most likely a view of daily life in Venice during the second half of the eighteenth century, rather than an invented capriccio, though the actual site has not yet been identified. The Guidecca, Chioggia and Murano (districts and islands of Venice) have all been suggested.Men chatting, wom...
Not on display
The Virgin sits in front of a dilapidated stable with the naked Christ Child on her knee. Three men offer golden gifts – this is the Adoration of the Kings, a biblical episode imagined as a contemporary event. It’s a chilly winter day: Mary’s dress has fur-lined sleeves and Joseph has a thick-bel...
Saint Peter fled Rome after Christ’s crucifixion, scared that he too would be executed by the Romans; here, he stands in shock as Christ passes him on the road. When Peter asked Christ where he was going – the question in this painting’s title – he replied that he was headed to Rome to be crucifi...
Not on display
Kaiser Friedrich III died on 15 June 1888, three months after his accession. Liebermann had been in Kösen in February of that year, where he made some studies of a clearing in a beech wood where memorial services were often held.This painting was the artist's first version of this subject (the se...
Not on display
No other Renaissance painting of the Virgin and Child with saints shows the naked infant Christ sitting on a pillow on a coffin. This unique addition indicates Christ’s acceptance of and conquest over death. Meditation on Christ’s death encouraged understanding of his suffering for humanity’s red...
Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld was one of the most successful portrait painters of the early decades of the seventeenth century. He was a favourite at the Dutch court, and his profile was such that Charles I tried – unsuccessfully – to tempt him to come to London.This portrait, which is (now very f...
Not on display
Buildings crumble and collapse along a seashore harshly illuminated against a dark sky. These unstable structures are probably assembled from elements of ancient and modern architecture familiar to the artist. The domed building beside a Gothic church-like tower is based on the ancient Temple of...
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
Christ wears the rich cloak and the crown of thorns in which, according to the Gospels, he was dressed before he was crucified. But the wounds of the Passion (his torture and crucifixion) indicate that he has already died and been resurrected.Bouts brings Jesus’s torments vividly to life, showing...
Not on display
A woman sits on a rocky ledge, her head turned toward a young naked child presented in the guise of a putto or cupid. He is trying to attract her attention. This painting is an early example of the rural subject matter that Millet began to explore in around 1845, and which by 1847 formed a substa...
Not on display
Gainsborough painted this portrait of William Hallett (1764–1842) and Elizabeth Stephen (1764–1833) shortly before their marriage on 30 July 1785. The couple are shown arm-in-arm on a morning walk with a Pomeranian sheepdog. The style of the portrait draws on the work of earlier painters Watteau...
This painting shows an episode from the mythological Trojan War, as described by the Roman poet Virgil in the Aeneid. The Trojans rejoice as they pull a large wooden horse into their city, believing it to be a gift from the gods; it actually conceals a band of Greek soldiers. In the background, C...
Not on display
An elderly bearded man kneels in a landscape, gazing up at the Virgin Mary and Christ Child who float in the sky. Behind him a rather astonished-looking young woman throws up her hands. This is the Emperor Augustus' encounter with the sibyl, a pagan prophetess.According to medieval legend, on the...
Not on display
In this little picture Raphael depicts the moment when the Christ Child takes a carnation, traditionally symbolic of divine love and the Passion (Christ’s torture and crucifixion), from his cousin John the Baptist’s hand. The space between the children’s hands is the centre of the careful geometr...
Not on display
This striking half-naked figure is Saint John the Baptist. He comes from a large polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) which Crivelli painted in 1476 for the high altar of the church of San Domenico, in Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. Crivelli’s attention to detail is such that we can see t...
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
This scene comes from the apocryphal Book of Tobit. Old and blind, Tobit had sent his son Tobias on a long journey to collect a debt on his behalf. Here, Tobias drags an enormous fish across the ground. He is watched closely by the Archangel Raphael, who had instructed the boy to catch a fish, th...
Not on display
Dated 1836, this is a replica of the marble bust of Charles Long, 1st Baron Farnborough (1760–1838), commissioned in 1819 by the sitter’s father-in-law, Sir Abraham Hume. The original was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1820 and is now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Who commissioned...
These three saints stand on the left side of a large multi-panelled altarpiece painted for the high altar of the church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Pratovecchio near Florence. Several of its panels are in the National Gallery’s collection.A label above him tells us that the saint in red is Cos...
Not on display
This landscape is one of a number painted by Corot in his later years, which combine a foreground of trees and figures, a lake or sea at the right, and in the left background sunlit buildings descending a hillside. Corot would interweave elements from different locations, juxtaposing views of suc...
A frog, crouched in the foreground and glittering like a jewel, appears to be causing a stir. The male birds looking down at it seem angry or excited by its presence: they prowl, flutter their wings or glare, feathers ruffled. On a top branch is a chaffinch, fluffing out its plumage; its mate sit...
Not on display
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Teniers is best known for his small paintings depicting figures in a tavern or people outside in a village engaged in their daily activities. The life of soldiers was another favourite subject explored by the artist, as seen in this unusually large painting of a cavalier outside an encampment.
Not on display
The central panel of this triptych (a painting made up of three sections) shows the crucified Christ. Angels cover their eyes unable to bear the sight as they gather the blood from his wounds in chalices, which resemble those which hold the wine of the Eucharist, drunk at Mass. The fainting Virgi...
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...
Not on display
This portrait was bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1837. Time hasn‘t been kind to it. Painted in oil on an oak panel, the background in particular seems to have suffered damage or been painted over at some point.We don’t know who the sitter is or who painted the picture, but is thought perha...
Not on display
Lippo di Dalmasio painted several images of the Virgin of Humility, so-called because she is shown sitting on the ground. Here she sits in a grassy meadow holding the Christ Child on her lap. Mother and child are absorbed in each other, and the infant Christ tugs at her veil as any baby might.Th...
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