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30 of 2,638 paintings
This is a copy of Raphael’s Virgin and Child known as ‘The Bridgewater Madonna’. The original is on loan to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh from the Duke of Sutherland’s collection.The copy is similar in size and in most colours and follows Raphael’s style closely, making it difficult...
Not on display
This is perhaps the most poignant image in the National Gallery’s collection of the pietà – the lamentation over the dead Christ following his crucifixion. It was a subject to which Annibale Carracci returned frequently, especially during the last decade of his life.Here, the limp and lifeless bo...
Not on display
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...
Not on display
A barefoot and bearded saint sits in a rocky landscape, prayer beads in hand. Discarded behind him is a red cardinal’s hat, and he wears a cardinal’s ermine cape over his rough wool habit. This is Saint Jerome, monk, hermit and translator of the Bible.Here he seems to have been up all night worki...
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...
The shadowy dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is viewed from the south bank of the Thames. Just to the front of the cathedral the newly built Blackfriars Bridge straddles the river; behind it a train, invisible but for its plume of smoke, passes over Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The leaden sky is heavil...
Not on display
A man carries a pink, or carnation, in his right hand. It was the custom for a bride to hide a pink in her clothes on her wedding day. Its presence here, along with the large blue and gold ring on the man’s left thumb, suggests that the portrait commemorates his marriage.Solario was from Milan t...
Not on display
The Virgin looks up from her book at us and Christ, sitting on her lap, gestures to himself – his future crucifixion is the subject of her text. The young Saint John the Baptist, wearing his traditional rough camel skin, clasps his hands in prayer.Saint Paul stands to the left holding his usual a...
Not on display
This is a fresco fragment from Correggio’s Coronation of the Virgin, which he painted in the apse of the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Parma, Italy. The fresco depicted Christ crowning the Virgin in heaven surrounded by the evangelists, doctors of the church and infant angels. Christ and...
Not on display
This is a view of the coast at Palavas-les-Flots, a fishing village south of Montpellier. The picture is similar to seascapes that Gustave Courbet painted there during his several visits to Montpellier in the 1850s. In particular, there are resemblances to his small painting The Seaside at Pala...
Not on display
King David and his companions emerge from the cave of Adullam. They cannot enter the city of Bethlehem and the valley below as the Philistines, whose pitched tents are just visible in the bottom left corner, occupy both. Nevertheless, three of the King’s soldiers have bravely ventured out to fulf...
This tall, narrow panel once hung over the tomb of a Franciscan holy man, the Blessed Gabriele Ferretti (d. 1456). Gabriele was Superior of the small convent of San Francesco in Alto outside Ancona in the Italian Marche. He was famous locally for his fervent piety and for his visions of the Virgi...
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
Claude illustrates the Old Testament story of Hagar, setting it in a tranquil landscape bathed in hazy sunlight. Hagar is an Egyptian servant girl who gives birth to Abraham’s child and runs away after quarrelling with Abraham’s childless wife, Sarah. Claude captures Hagar’s suffering and despair...
A man wearing the cap and gown of a scholar sits at a desk in a dark and cavernous room, a glazed expression on his face. He clasps a pair of reading glasses, implying that he was until a moment ago studying the book propped up in front of him. A large diagram of the palm of a hand is visible on...
Not on display
This painting is very similar to but roughly half the size of another landscape by Aelbert Cuyp, also in the National Gallery’s collection: A Distant View of Dordrecht, with a Milkmaid and Four Cows, and Other Figures. We don't know which was painted first but presumably one of Cuyp’s customers s...
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
A young lady kneels before an altar on which two tall candles have been lit. Her hands are touched in prayer on a large open Bible, but we have interrupted her devotions and she turns to look at us. The writing in a Gothic script above the altarpiece is the first part of the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Our F...
This is one of Bronzino’s most complex and enigmatic paintings. It contains a tangle of moral messages, presented in a sexually explicit image. Venus, goddess of love, steals an arrow from her son Cupid’s quiver as she kisses him on the lips. Cupid fondles Venus‘ breast, his bare buttocks provoca...
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
These four small pictures were probably painted for a piece of furniture, perhaps the case of a musical instrument. They illustrate the key episodes of the Second Eclogue by Antonio Tebaldeo (1456–1538), a poet from Ferrara.In the first scene the shepherd Damon broods over his unrequited love for...
Not on display
Monet’s earlier paintings of the Normandy coast had emphasised it as a working seascape, peopled with fishermen who had to contend with a cold climate, choppy seas and stormy skies. But this painting and the eight others he made in the summer of 1870 show it as a holiday destination, with wide sa...
Not on display
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...
A fair-haired man stands in an interior, gazing past us. Through the window behind him we can see a landscape with a church in the distance. The date on the back wall makes this the earliest datable – and in fact the only dated painting – by Bouts, and the earliest dated portrait to include an op...
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...
For those living in Utrecht in the 1630s, this painting must have seemed like a window onto an exotic world. A crowd of naked women pose elegantly while they talk and bathe in a river. Behind them loom the overgrown tower and arches of a Roman ruin, while the bright morning sky glows behind the f...
Not on display
This is a picture of an idealised city square, carefully painted to make sure that the perspectives, proportions and the effects of light and shade make it look as realistic as possible. Dirck van Delen specialised in painting buildings and imaginary architectural views, and the attention to such...
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul outlines the importance of faith, hope and charity, naming charity as the greatest of the three. At the time this picture was painted, charity meant combining the love of god with love of one’s neighbour.From the sixteenth century onward, charity...
This playful scene celebrates Silenus, Greek god of wine and drunkenness, and companion to the god Bacchus. Silenus, a fat naked old man with a bald head, sits slumped on a throne to the left, supported by two men. Too drunk to stand, he balances one leg precariously on a tiger. The partygoers re...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,638 paintings