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30 of 2,652 paintings
This panel comes from the predella (the lowest part) of an altarpiece made for the church of San Domenico, Fiesole, near Florence. Its figures look towards the central panel, which shows Christ resurrected from the dead.Lined up in neat rows are – from top to bottom – 21 biblical figures regarded...
Two couples recline outdoors in a mountainous landscape – one lies gazing into each other’s eyes, the other embraces. Cupid kneels on the grass clutching his bow and looks at us. A lizard scuttles down the dark tree trunk and a goat – almost hidden in the shadows – nibbles some foliage.The painti...
Not on display
The dormition of the Virgin is the term used to refer to her death and literally means the ‘falling asleep’. According to the Golden Legend (a thirteenth-century compilation of the lives of the saints), Saint John the Evangelist was miraculously brought to her side, followed by all the apostles (...
This panel comes from an altarpiece made for the high altar of the Benedictine abbey at Liesborn in the west of Germany, and was probably originally placed to the left of the main scene showing the Crucifixion. It shows the Archangel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary to tell her that she will...
This panel was once part of a multi-panelled altarpiece made for the Florentine church of Santa Croce. The altarpiece had four tiers of pictures; this would have appeared in the third.An inscription, now quite faded and damaged, identifies the saint wearing a violet drapery: S.THA. (Saint Thaddeu...
This portrait was bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1837. Time hasn‘t been kind to it. Painted in oil on an oak panel, the background in particular seems to have suffered damage or been painted over at some point.We don’t know who the sitter is or who painted the picture, but is thought perha...
Not on display
Johan Barthold Jongkind produced several views of the boulevard de Port-Royal, which was near his studio in Paris. He often made drawings and watercolour sketches of a scene which he would then use in his studio as the basis for his oil paintings; this picture relates to a watercolour of 1874.In...
The Virgin and Child are shown as an affectionate mother and laughing infant. Christ holds an apple, alluding to the fruit with which Eve tempted Adam in the biblical story of the Garden of Eden, leading to the Fall of Man.Devotion to Mary was an important part of a great flowering of private rel...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary holds her clothing out the way as Christ leans towards her to breastfeed, and Saint Joseph dotes upon him. By using a plain dark background and a tightly cropped close-up view, Signorelli invites us to share in this intimate moment.Signorelli was well known for his ability to pain...
This angel is a pair to another in the National Gallery’s collection. Both were part of a large altarpiece made for the church of San Francesco Grande in Milan that included Leonardo’s ‘Virgin of the Rocks’, which is also in our collection. They were made to surround a sculpture of the Virgin Mar...
The sitter – whom Rembrandt did not name – has an almost regal poise. She looks down on us from a slight height, her right hand resting on what must be part of the arm of a chair, but which has the air of a sceptre. She wears expensive pearl earrings and jewellery and what seems to be a fur mantl...
Not on display
William Seguier (1772–1843) was a picture dealer and picture cleaner. He was Superintendent of the British Institution from its foundation in 1805, Surveyor, Cleaner and Repairer of the King’s Pictures from 1820 and Keeper of the National Gallery from its foundation in 1824. He continued in all t...
Not on display
A rutted road leads into a wood and winds round to the right and over a rise to disappear. This is an often repeated theme in Jacob van Ruisdael’s early paintings – scenes of the Dutch countryside designed to please busy city dwellers wanting a moment of tranquillity in the home, or a reminder of...
Not on display
This painting probably belonged to a series of Apostles and represents either Saint Thomas or Saint Matthias, both of whose attribute is a spear. Ribera painted several such series throughout his career – the most complete, dating from around 1630, is in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Apostle serie...
Not on display
Jupiter, the ruler of the gods, is seated on a cloud, his attribute of an eagle with thunderbolts in its beak beside him. He is embracing the goddess Minerva, his daughter. The scene is witnessed by a gathering of the gods of Olympus, clearly shocked by what they see.Mercury, messenger of the god...
A young woman sits on a grassy bank spinning wool, distaff tucked under one arm. With a half-smile on her face, she looks with great concentration at her fingers untangling a lump in the wool. The twirling spindle hangs from her other hand. Karel Dujardin sets the animals that the young woman ten...
Not on display
This is one of the best examples of Gerrit Dou’s brilliance at depicting different surfaces and textures, like the fraying cloth crumpled underneath a bucket, the smooth stone of the sill, the feathers in the duck’s wing and the pocked skin of its breast and neck.Dou was one of the most successfu...
Not on display
Although we know the name and approximate date of birth of the sitter of this portrait, he has not yet been fully identified. His robes suggest he was a Benedictine, or possibly Augustinian, canon. The coat of arms in the upper right corner – that of the Boulengé de la Hainière family – is the sa...
Not on display
Although this picture shows an imagined interior rather than a real church, it is highly detailed. The lead of the windowpanes is visible, and the subjects of some of the paintings that hang on the pillars can be identified (on the closest pillar on the left, Christ is depicted with the woman of...
Not on display
This scene shows Christ being baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. The composition is directly based on a panel painted by Perugino for the Benedictine Abbey of San Pietro in Perugia, Italy. When the work was acquired by the National Gallery in the nineteenth century it was thought t...
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
This was once the left wing of a triptych (a painting made up of three sections) which showed a man and woman with their patron saints on either side of an image of the Virgin and Christ Child.Here, Saint Clement stands behind a man, presumably the male donor who paid for the triptych. The anchor...
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...
Not on display
At the centre of this painting is the Virgin Mary, seated in a narrow space, a wall behind her and a ledge before her. She holds the infant Christ, who seems unsteady on his feet as he leans to the right. He makes direct eye contact with the viewer. The young Saint John the Baptist, identified by...
Not on display
This tiny painting – almost postcard sized – shows an endearing fireside scene: Christ’s bath time. The Virgin sits on a cushion on the floor, surrounded by domestic paraphernalia. There is a brass bowl in front of the fire, and a basket of white cloths – presumably nappies or swaddling bands – o...
Goya shows us a scene based on a satirical play first performed in 1698: The Forcibly Bewitched. The priest, Don Camillo, is being frightened into marriage with Doña Leonora. He’s been made to believe that a slave, Lucia, has bewitched him, and that his life will last only as long as the lamp in...
This bold picture is a good example of the portrait style of Venetian painter Alvise Vivarini. He was well known for describing his sitters' individual features in detail – here he has made sure to include the man’s wrinkles and the dark circles under his eyes. The man’s confident expression was...
Not on display
In this pensive study, a woman is dressed in traditional Italian costume. Her distinctive headdress is a tovaglia, a piece of folded linen or other cloth worn flat on the head and covering the neck. With increased Italian migration to France from the middle of the nineteenth century, the subject...
On display elsewhere
In late 1883 Van Gogh moved to the town of Nuenen in North Brabant, in the south of the Netherlands. His arrival there marked the beginning of a highly productive period that was to culminate in his first major painting, The Potato Eaters of 1885 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam).This picture belongs...
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