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30 of 2,643 paintings
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
This panel shows Saint Ursula, and was once the right-hand shutter of a three-part folding altarpiece made for Paul Withypool, an English merchant and courtier. The opposite shutter, also in the National Gallery’s collection, shows Saint Catherine, while the central panel (in Bristol Museums and...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary gazes to her right, her hands folded in prayer. She is richly dressed: her mantle is edged with delicate gold embroidery dotted with pearls, and her blue underdress is lined with brown fur. On her head is a circlet of three strands of pearls held with a jewelled catch, and a trans...
Not on display
The young man in this portrait leans on a stone ornament, confident and at his ease. Dressed fashionably in black, with large amounts of expensive lace on show, he has a falling collar – a relatively new trend in Holland – and a multitude of tiny buttons down the front of his coat. The black sati...
The enchantress Armida and her bewitched lover, Rinaldo, a Christian knight, recline in a beautiful landscape, surrounded by attendant cupids. The scene shows a tender moment between the couple before Rinaldo’s comrades, whose helmets are visible behind the bush on the left, disturb their idyll a...
Not on display
Mars, the god of war, is presented with a choice. Should he continue his march into war, or should he show mercy and retreat? Figures representing the different qualities of war and peace surround him, encouraging him to follow their example. Alecto, one of the three goddesses of vengeance (known...
Not on display
Four women dressed in colourful Renaissance-style costumes are shown standing below what may be a vine. On the reverse of the panel is another image of a standing woman. The exact subject of this picture has not been identified. This is not surprising, since in Monticelli’s late career his techni...
Not on display
According to the legend, Saint Ursula, a Christian princess from Britain or Brittany, made a holy pilgrimage to Rome with 11,000 virgins. Dressed in yellow and holding a flag with a red cross, Ursula watches her companions embark on their return voyage. They carry bows and arrows, weapons that re...
This is one of 14 views of the Boulevard Montmartre in Paris that Camille Pissarro painted in 1897. These include the boulevard seen in snow, rain, fog, mist and sunlight, and in the morning, afternoon, at sunset and at night. The picture is the only example of a night painting by Pissarro.Pissar...
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
The man in this portrait has not yet been identified. The upper ring on his left forefinger may provide a clue: it seems to show the arms of the Strauss family (the other ring seems to have shown another coat of arms which can no longer be deciphered). It has been suggested that the man depicted...
Diana, goddess of hunting, stands between the huntsman Cephalus and his wife Procris. Procris gives her husband a spear, carried here by an attendant, and a magic dog. The painting is loosely based on a story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The title suggests that the pair are being reunited after a fal...
Not on display
Two saints, Peter and Paul, are deep in conversation over an open book, one pointing out a particular passage to the other. This painting comes from a polyptych – an altarpiece made of a number of panels – painted for the high altar of parish church of Porto Saint Georgio, the harbour of the city...
Not on display
This painting is an early copy of one of the most celebrated of Correggio’s small religious paintings. For a long time it was regarded as Correggio’s genuine version, even after the arrival in London of the original from the Spanish Royal Collection (now in Apsley House, London). The Apsley House...
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...
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
Saint Catherine rests her hand on a wheel studded with metal spikes – the instrument on which she was tortured for her Christian faith, according to legend. Saint Bartholomew holds a knife, the symbol of his martyrdom: he was flayed alive.The panel probably formed the right-hand side of a triptyc...
Not on display
A thin-faced man with a hooked nose gazes directly out at us. He wears a black hat and his dark grey garments are perhaps made of watered silk: an irregular swirling black pattern extends across both chest and the puffed shoulders. There are no indications of the sitter’s identity.Corneille de Ly...
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
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...
Christ is shown crouching in the river Jordan as Saint John baptises him, pouring water over his head. An angel and two cherubs carry a red drapery to wrap around Christ after baptism. The sky has opened up to reveal the intense light of heaven where the bearded figure of God the Father is surrou...
This is one of five paintings intended to hang together, each of which denotes one of the five senses – a common theme for painting in the Low Countries in the seventeenth century. In each of these paintings Gonzales Coques used a traditional activity to represent the relevant sense.Here Taste is...
Not on display
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
We have interrupted a young man reading; he turns to look over his shoulder at us. The unguarded look creates the impression that we are seeing him as he really is. His identity is uncertain, although he may be the stationer Lorenzo di Matteo Peri, whose family commissioned Andrea del Sarto’s Dis...
A black eagle soars into the clouds with a naked youth clutched in its talons. In Greek mythology, Jupiter was infatuated with the handsome youth Ganymede, whom he abducted in the guise of an eagle and carried away to the home of the gods, Mount Olympus, where he was made their cupbearer.The sole...
The Virgin Mary, who is being crowned with a wreath of roses by two angels, stands holding the infant Christ in her arms. A man wearing the black habit, or uniform, of a Benedictine monk kneels on the tiled floor at the Virgin’s feet, and holds a scroll inscribed in Latin with a prayer to her. He...
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
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
You've viewed 30 of 2,643 paintings