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30 of 2,644 paintings
A man kneels at a prayer desk in a landscape. In the background Christ carries the Cross, helped by Simon of Cyrene; they are surrounded by soldiers and tormentors. We aren‘t sure who the patron is, but the coat of arms on the desk might be those of the Bollis family of Sint-Truiden. His clothes...
Not on display
This portrait may depict Ghirardo Averoldi, a nobleman from Brescia in northern Italy. He regards us with a frown, and the solid triangular form of his body, swathed in his black silk and velvet costume, makes him appear stern and powerful. The large collar of the coat and the shape of the sleev...
This panel was most probably the right-hand wing of a diptych (a painting made up of two panels), and was probably made in Cologne in the 1530s. The location of the left-hand panel is unknown, but it most probably showed the dead Christ.The figures huddle together and look in the direction of the...
The Marquis Giorgio Capranica del Grillo (1849–1922) was a courtier to the Italian Queen Mother, Margherita, a painter in his own right, and a benevolent patron to Mancini. The portrait, one of Mancini’s most ambitious, was painted in Rome in 1889 and intended for the Paris Universal Exhibition t...
On display elsewhere
This small painting beautifully evokes the lushness of the natural world. A young man rests against the base of a tree and turns his head towards us. He holds one hand to his mouth as if playing a flute just out of view, a pose derived from images of the classical hero Orpheus charming the animal...
In this exuberant painting of a peasant, Adriaen van Ostade shows his ability to portray the human condition. We sense the giddiness of the drunken peasant as he sweeps backwards, jug open to drink straight from its neck. His mouth is gaping and his eyes are watery and unfocused, but he’s happy.V...
Not on display
Threatening clouds loom over the distant mountains and dwarf the cluster of buildings and stone bridge in the middle ground. Above the clouds, the sky is dark.There is a sense of movement throughout the scene, from the trees and clouds blown by the wind to the fishermen hauling in a net from the...
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...
We are looking through a gilded arch into a small chapel in which the Virgin is breastfeeding the Christ Child to an angelic musical accompaniment. She cradles him in her arms, and looks down affectionately as he hungrily squeezes her breast.This is one of around 60 versions of a lost painting by...
Not on display
This woman is most likely Sophonisba, an ill-fated but brave Carthaginian princess; she drains a glass of poison. In 206 BC Massinia allied with the Roman general Scipio to defeat the western Numidians, ruled by Sophonisba’s first husband, Syphax. Massinia fell in love with Sophonisba, but could...
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
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
Something – or someone – has interrupted the Virgin Mary’s reading. This panel was probably part of a large image which included the angel Gabriel, the cause of her surprise. Gabriel brought her the news that she would conceive a child by the Holy Ghost, and that he would be the son of God (Luke...
The infant Christ wriggles in the embrace of his mother, the Virgin Mary – just like an ordinary baby would. Behind her are two saints, Jerome on the right and Paul on the left. Saint Jerome is wearing the red robes of a cardinal, reflecting his status as a ‘father’ of the Catholic Church. Both...
Not on display
This praying saint comes from the upper tier of 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. This is Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order – friars who lived in towns...
This painting shows one of the seven acts of charity described in the Gospel of Matthew and was part of a series that Murillo painted for the church of the Hospital de la Caridad in Seville. The Caridad was a charitable brotherhood dedicated to helping the poor and sick of the city; Murillo himse...
This graceful Virgin Mary seems to embody both motherly love and maternal sorrow. Her beautiful hands hold the Christ Child almost tentatively, as if to prevent him floating away. She gazes sadly at her son, and he too looks out with wary, hooded eyes, as if aware of his future.Mary’s halo is ins...
These two scenes continue the stories on the previous panel, Helsinus saved from a Shipwreck and (below) A French Canon drowned by Devils. They come from a twelfth-century text written by English monk Eadmer, an early supporter of the idea that the Virgin was conceived without sin.The top portion...
Not on display
Mary Magdalene, wearing a red mantle over a startlingly see-through dress, kneels in prayer in a landscape. A splendid manuscript, presumably a Book of Hours, rests on a large, conveniently shaped rock in front of her. Although she is gazing inwards, her eyes unfocused, the object of her prayer a...
Not on display
Barye was primarily a sculptor, particularly of animal bronzes. In 1841 he began painting landscapes in oil, and by the end of the decade he was regularly visiting the forest of Fontainebleau, south-east of Paris, where he painted alongside members of the Barbizon group of landscape painters. Alt...
On display elsewhere
This altarpiece was made for the meeting room of the Florentine youth confraternity of the Purification of the Virgin and of Saint Zenobius, which was in the Dominican convent at San Marco.Saint Zenobius and Saint John the Baptist – the patron saints of Florence – are shown on the Virgin’s right-...
According to the Old Testament Book of Exodus, the Israelites and their flock were thirsty after failing to find water during their long journey through Egypt. God instructed Moses to stand in front of the people with the elders of Israel and strike the rock of Horeb with his staff. A fresh strea...
Not on display
A young man reclines in a rocky landscape, filling a bowl with water spouting from a rock. With his naked torso he looks more like a classical god than a biblical figure, but this is Saint John the Baptist, a forerunner of Christ (whom he baptised). John lived as a hermit in the desert, preaching...
Not on display
Sienese painting of the second half of the fifteenth century blended the artistic ideals of its own time with a continued reverence for the language of earlier Sienese art. Nowhere is this more true than in this altarpiece, painted in 1479 by Benvenuto di Giovanni, possibly for a church in Orvie...
Not on display
This large altarpiece – one of the few in the National Gallery which is almost complete – has had an eventful life. It was commissioned in 1455 from the Florentine painter Francesco Pesellino, and is his only surviving documented work. He died in 1457 and it was finished by Fra Filippo Lippi and...
Not on display
We don’t know who the sitter in this portrait is, but Adriaen van der Werff has portrayed him as a man of leisure and a lover of antiquities. He is pictured outside in his garden, wearing a luxurious quilted silk robe and white cravat. He gazes out at us, his eyes thoughtful and intelligent thoug...
Not on display
A pale, clean-shaven young man, naked but for a loincloth, is bound to a tree. He gazes towards heaven, seemingly unaffected by the four arrows which pierce his upper body. This Saint Sebastian, a Roman soldier who secretly converted to Christianity and was executed for his faith.This altarpiece...
Aeneas, prince of Troy, dressed here in an orange cloak, left his native city and arrived with his father, son, and companions on the island of Delos, home of the sun god Apollo. Anius, the King of Delos, dressed in white, gestures to an olive and palm in the centre of the painting, two trees sac...
Not on display
This small double-sided painting was most probably made for private worship. The front shows Saint Jerome kneeling in front of a crucifix wedged into the stump of a tree. He beats his chest with a rock in empathy with Christ’s Passion (his torture and death at the Crucifixion). The lion resting b...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,644 paintings