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30 of 2,643 paintings
Paintings of life on the frozen waterways of Holland during the Little Ice Age were very popular with collectors at the time. Many artists, usually known for painting rivers or landscapes, produced them, and Adriaen van de Velde was one of the most successful. But in this painting he has concentr...
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...
Catharina van Hemessen is the earliest female Flemish painter for whom verifiable work survives – we can see her name here in a Latin inscription in the top right corner. We don't know who the sitter was, but she was evidently wealthy. Her shirt, visible at her neck and wrists, is ornamented with...
This painting was the central panel of an altarpiece commissioned in 1506 by the foreign students of Pavia University for their chapel in S. Maria del Carmine, one of the most important churches in Pavia. Saint Sebastian was especially revered in the town as, according to legend, the plague of AD...
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
This panel once formed the left shutter of an altarpiece in the Benedictine abbey at Liesborn in north-west Germany. The right-hand shutter, which shows Saints Gregory, Maurice and Augustine, is also in the National Gallery’s collection.Saints Ambrose, Exuperius and Jerome are shown here beneath...
Not on display
David Teniers seldom painted identifiable buildings, but in this case the large house partially hidden by trees has been identified as Het Sterckshof near Antwerp. It belonged to Jacob Edelheer, who was city secretary as well as a collector of artworks and scientific instruments.The figures on th...
Not on display
The Virgin and Child sit on the edge of a wood between two sawn stumps of olive trees that resemble the arms of a throne. Shoots have grown from each stump and the Virgin bends the taller one towards Christ, who raises his hand as if to grasp it. The olive is symbolic of peace and its vigorous re...
Not on display
In one of his parables, Christ told of a rich man who squirrelled away his grain and his goods, hoarding them to ensure his future comfort instead of using them for charitable deeds. But God commanded that the man’s time to die had come: ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:...
Not on display
Aert van der Neer was a specialist in painting landscapes with distinctive lighting effects – often under moonlight, or at the beginning or end of the day. The title given to this painting (probably in the eighteenth or nineteenth century) suggests that it’s set in the evening, though the cold bl...
Not on display
A bishop saint, a mitre on his head and his crosier leaning casually against his shoulder, stands reading a book. This is Saint Nicholas of Bari, an enormously popular saint who is thought to have lived in the fourth century, and about whom almost nothing certain is known. This is the right-hand...
Not on display
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 stern and commanding figure is Saint Peter, the first pope and one of the founders of the Catholic Church. He comes from a polyptych (a multi-panelled altarpiece) which Crivelli painted for the high altar of the church of San Domenico, in Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. His hooded eyes...
Alfred Stevens found success with his paintings of elegant young women in imaginary situations, posed against highly decorative backgrounds. In 1880 he became ill with a lung condition and was advised to make regular trips to Normandy for his health, where he made a series of small paintings of t...
A naked golden-haired youth sits on a rock, playing the panpipes; another set of pipes hangs from the tree behind him. An older bearded man sits nearby on the ground, his panpipes also hanging from a branch. This is perhaps the satyr Marsyas; the youth may be Olympus, described in classical sourc...
Not on display
Many of Aert van der Neer’s atmospheric landscapes are set in the low light of evening or early morning, characterised by a silvery glow on water and the deep shade of the wooded banks. He also painted night scenes, lit by a moon often partly hidden by the clouds of a dramatic sky. It’s not clear...
Not on display
A saint clad in shining armour raises his sword to strike a hideous demon beneath his feet. This is the Archangel Michael fighting the devil, as described in the Book of Revelation. His multi-coloured wings meet over his head and curve protectively around the man who kneels at his feet. This is t...
We do not know this woman’s identity, but the enamel and gold coronet she wears suggests she may be of high rank. The pattern embroidered on her white satin sleeves could be her family’s heraldic device or perhaps a personal emblem.The fabric of her dress resembles a watered silk threaded with go...
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...
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 glorious colours in this portrait are equalled by the delicacy and sensitivity with which Van Dyck has captured an intimate moment between us and an unknown woman and her little boy. She wears the formal clothing of an affluent bourgeois wife: a black silk dress with an elaborate gold stomach...
The Virgin Mary sits in the shelter of a rocky grotto, with the infants Christ and John the Baptist beside her. This is an early work by the Milanese painter Luini, He was deeply influenced by Leonardo, who was working in Milan from about 1482 to 1499. The figure of the Virgin and the infant Bapt...
Not on display
The Three Kings have arrived to worship the newborn Christ. The Virgin Mary presents the baby, who has a bright halo of light around his tiny head, to the kneeling king, who takes the child’s small foot in his hand in order to kiss it. Spranger has positioned the two other kings around the mother...
This is a copy of a signed work by Salvator Rosa of about 1645 (now in the Pitti Palace, Florence). It depicts an episode from the life of Diogenes, the ancient Greek philosopher who wanted to be free of all earthly attachments. Upon seeing a boy using his hands to drink from a stream, Diogenes t...
Not on display
In seventeenth-century Holland, artists and viewers alike were fascinated by the Dutch landscape. Pictures of it take many forms – from the down-to-earth farmstead to the softly glowing views inspired by the Italian landscape – but because of the flat terrain, many convey the sense of vast space...
Not on display
Clear, soft light illuminates a peaceful landscape, giving a sense that everything is in its place and all’s well with the world. But the rider’s attention is caught by a young lad who seems to point anxiously towards something likely to disturb the tranquillity. Crouched in the bushes on the lef...
We do not know who the man in this small portrait is. He seems to be in his thirties. He’s dressed in what might be black silk and he holds a pale brown glove in one hand. His clothes, the style of his hair and beard, and the angle of his hat suggest a date of around 1550.In the early twentieth c...
Not on display
In this tiny picture, Arent Arentsz. shows a fisherman in heavy boots, his rod – a canvas bag hanging from it – over his shoulder. He looks back at a young lad pouring a catch of tiny fish from a large pitcher into a bowl, while an older man stands waiting with a similar bowl in his hands.Arentsz...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,643 paintings