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30 of 2,649 paintings
An opulently dressed man with glossy clean-shaven skin and clear blue eyes gazes directly at us with a slight smile on his lips. He wears a rose-gold coloured jacket with exotic gold tassels, covered with a gorgeous teal silk-velvet cloak lined with embroidered gold silk damask. His soft velvet c...
Meindert Hobbema liked nothing better than to take you for a walk. He leads us onward – patches of sun that follow one another up the canvas, but into the picture, make the image appear three-dimensional – and leaves us feeling fresh and windblown. In this painting, his trees are stunted and bent...
This is one of three tiny pictures that have been grouped together since the early nineteenth century (the others show a man and child in a landscape with a derelict folly, and hard-working men beside a pool). It shows an elegantly dressed couple heading towards a pillared ruined arch, which appe...
Not on display
The Abbé Scaglia (1592–1641), whose full name was Cesare Alessandro Scaglia di Verrua, was a cleric and diplomat well known in Rome, Madrid, London and Paris for his service to the House of Savoy and Philip IV of Spain. Scaglia was also an art collector of renown who knew, among others, Rubens, V...
Not on display
This panel shows the Dominican Blessed, both tertiaries (those who lived in general society rather than a convent, but were allied to the Dominican Order) and friars. They're dressed in their distinctive black and white habits, neatly lined up in rows.The Blessed were holy figures belonging to th...
In 1621, at the age of ten, Ferdinand II de' Medici succeeded his father Cosimo II as Grand Duke of Tuscany, assuming power in 1627. He is shown here with Vittoria della Rovere, his wife; the couple had married in 1634.Ferdinand wears a commander’s sash and the cross of the military order of San...
Not on display
Venus, goddess of love and beauty, twists to embrace her lover, Mars, god of war, who has thrown off his armour in his haste to reach her bed. Mars is only half on the bed with Venus above him as he meets her lips in the urgency of their desire.A pair of doves, an attribute of Venus, are beside w...
Not on display
This is a rare example of a work by Niccolò di Buonaccorso – one of the most gifted Sienese artists of the fourteenth century. The panel belongs to a series of three: the others show the Virgin as a child in The Presentation of the Virgin (Uffizi, Florence) and The Coronation of the Virgin by Ch...
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
The Three Kings have come to visit the infant Christ in the stable where he was born. They bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and have journeyed from the East (Matthew 2: 10–12). The stable at Bethlehem is attached to the ruins of a great classical building with a triumphal arch in the...
This panel of Saint Bonaventure and one of Saint Louis of Toulouse, also in the National Gallery’s collection, are part of a series of nine paintings by Pordenone from a ceiling in the Scuola di S. Francesco ai Frari at Venice. The original arrangement showed the Four Evangelists on square panels...
This was once the central and uppermost part of a multi-panelled altarpiece, made for the church of San Pier Maggiore in Florence. Although it would have been displayed very high, right at the top of this large altarpiece, the limited colours, bold shapes and simple design mean it would have been...
Johann the Steadfast, Elector of Saxony from 1525 to 1532, would have been about 38 when this portrait was made. He wears a sumptuous black hat and coat, both decorated with gold thread and seed pearls.This panel is part of a diptych (a painting made of two parts) – the conjoining panel depicts J...
Not on display
A lavishly dressed young woman lights up Eglon van der Neer’s picture, her sumptuous silk and brocade dress contrasting strongly with the dark background. Decorated with pearls, it seems to be the star of the show. But a longer look at the painting reveals a sword in the woman’s right hand and, m...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary glances down at her baby son, Christ, who clutches a pomegranate in his tiny fist. The fruit, with its blood-red juice, was a reminder of the torture and death he would face at the Crucifixion.Mary was also known as the Queen of Heaven, and her coronation by Christ was a popular s...
Not on display
Hobbema was a specialist landscape painter – this is his only known city view, a depiction of the ordered and harmonious relationship between people and water. We are looking towards the Haarlem Lock at the point where two of Amsterdam’s most important waterways meet – the Singel on the right and...
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...
Immediately identifiable by his long hair, beard and gesture of blessing, this kind of small close-up ‘portrait’ of Christ was hugely popular as an object of private devotion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Such portraits were produced in a number of painters' workshops both north and s...
Not on display
The panels of this small triptych (a painting made up of three parts) are in their original frames, which are carved from the same boards as the panels. The central panel shows the Virgin Mary seated on an elaborate throne in a sort of loggia (open-sided gallery or room). On the left wing is an u...
The Virgin Mary gently lifts her newborn son while Saint Joseph, leaning on his staff, looks tenderly at the Christ Child. They are surrounded by figures including two shepherds who join their hands in adoration, while others offer poultry and lambs as gifts. Two bound lambs are strategically pla...
This modello, or detailed oil study, is one of a group of 12 that Giordano made in preparation for the ceiling frescoes in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in 1682–85. Ten of the modelli are in the National Gallery’s collection, and this one corresponds to the group in the centre of the ceiling of the...
Aurora, goddess of dawn, is in love with the mortal Cephalus and tries to seduce him. Cephalus, dressed here in blue, turns away from Aurora, rejecting her advances. He gazes towards a portrait of his wife, Procris, held by a winged cupid. Later, when Cephalus and Procris are reunited, they each...
This figure has been mistaken for the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, because the prophet’s words are inscribed in Latin on the scroll he carries: ‘Behold the Virgin shall conceive.’ But a camel-hair tunic peeks out from underneath the red robes, identifying him as Saint John the Baptist: this is w...
Not on display
Darkened varnish has taken its toll, and the true colours in Jan van Goyen’s painting are difficult to make out. The picture is almost entirely given over to a vast sky, but there’s enough movement below to capture the atmosphere of a busy autumn day on the river.A series of diagonal lines sweeps...
Not on display
This half-length portrait is on paper later attached to an oak panel. A young man wearing a slight, almost boyish moustache looks towards the viewer, his determined expression emphasised by his pose, with his right hand raised to his chest and his left resting on his hip. He is dressed in a black...
Not on display
Saint Vincent Ferrer was a Spanish friar and missionary, and a member of the Dominican Order (the religious order founded by Saint Dominic); he was officially declared a saint in 1455. He is shown raising a finger demonstratively: he was known as a passionate preacher whose stirring sermons somet...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,649 paintings