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30 of 2,644 paintings
This elegant woman is Mary Magdalene, holding the pot of oil with which she anointed Christ’s feet. Although a biblical figure, she is dressed in the height of fifteenth-century fashion. Her red cloak and uncovered hair were meant to hint at the medieval understanding that she ‘gave herself to al...
Not on display
This panel is part of the predella (lowest section) of a large altarpiece. The altarpiece’s central panel shows the Virgin and Child, and panels on either side show narrative scenes of the lives of saints.The original predella showed Christ in the centre, surrounded by the 12 apostles, his follow...
Not on display
A group of six men and nine women stand at the foot of a hill at the bottom of a steep rocky path. Some of them clasp their hands in prayer and look towards the summit of the hill, while others face in other directions. They have traditionally been identified as the Giusti family of Verona, altho...
Not on display
We see the Piazza San Marco from just inside the colonnade of the Procuratie Nuove, which housed the procurators (or caretakers) of San Marco. Although painting one of Venice’s most famous sights, Canaletto took liberties with the architecture to create a dramatic composition, enlarging the size...
The Archangel Gabriel descends from God to tell the Virgin that she is to bear a child – a moment known as the Annunciation – but has been distracted from his mission by a bishop saint, who has stopped him in the street of a Renaissance town. This is Saint Emidius, patron saint of the town of Asc...
Not on display
This dramatic scene of divine punishment is described in the Old Testament. The Philistines are stricken with plague in their city of Ashdod because they have stolen the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites and placed it in their pagan temple. You can see the decorated golden casket of the Ark...
Not on display
This picture was part of a classical-style frieze made for Francesco Cornaro, a Venetian nobleman, in celebration of his ancestors, the ancient Roman Cornelia family. Mantegna painted the figures to look as though they are carved from stone, not painted, and set against colourful marble.In 204 BC...
A man stoops over a fireplace, using bellows to stoke the fire that heats the contents of a pot standing in the flames. He is an alchemist in the process of trying to turn base metals into silver or gold. His shabby and chaotic surroundings suggest that he is so obsessed with his work that he has...
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...
A young woman, dressed in a dazzling yellow skirt and red bodice, semi-reclines in a dark landscape setting, of which only some rocks and plants in the foreground are visible. Her wings and the trumpets she holds identify her as the allegorical figure of Fame. Normally Fame is shown with a single...
The Virgin supports the Christ Child on a cushion that rests on a stone ledge. He returns her affectionate gaze, pointing to his breast. The Virgin’s thick mantle, turned over at the edge to reveal its rich yellow lining, dominates the picture. This striking feature is a good example of Vivarini’...
Not on display
This graceful, golden-haired princess is Saint Catherine of Alexandria, identifiable by her traditional attributes of a spiked wheel and martyr’s palm. She comes from the great polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) which Crivelli painted for the church of the Dominican Order in Ascoli Piceno in t...
The game of golf was played in the Middle Ages, but it became particularly popular in seventeenth-century Holland. It was called kolf, and was played on the ice. European winters in the mid-seventeenth century were severe. Rivers and canals froze so solid that the life normally lived in a village...
Painted with Adriaen van de Velde’s usual attention to the detail of texture, the animals in the picture seem almost tangible. The kid turns its head quickly, its eye and coat soft, its pose dainty and alive. The goat stands steady but alert, two long strands of dark hair lying over the pale, sha...
Not on display
This painting is based on the main panel of an altarpiece that Gozzoli made for the Confraternity of the Purification of the Virgin and of Saint Zenobius in Florence, which is also in the National Gallery’s collection. It was probably produced shortly afterwards by a member of the artist’s worksh...
Not on display
Located just outside Copenhagen, the Citadel (Kastellet) was a former military fort where Christen Købke and his parents lived from 1819 to 1833, although Købke often returned there to paint. He painted this view in 1837, possibly for his mother as a souvenir of their former home.This picture sho...
Christ’s body hangs limply on the Cross; the torment of his crucifixion is almost over. He is supported in his final moments by the Virgin Mary and his disciple John the Evangelist. Antonello has composed the picture with a low viewpoint; it is as if we are looking up at a Crucifix placed upon an...
The Virgin Mary supports her son’s head with one hand and his chubby leg with the other, laying him down on her deep blue cloak. Her husband, Joseph, lies asleep behind them. Christ’s raised leg lifted to one side shows his genitals, proving that he is a human child – the son of man and the son o...
Not on display
Monet was in his early twenties when he painted this view across the breakwaters to the headland of La Hève, near Sainte-Adresse on the Normandy coast. He knew the area well, as he had spent his childhood in nearby Le Havre. The picture was probably made on the spot as a study for a larger studio...
Irises were among Monet’s favourite flowers, and he cultivated many different species, planting them in both his flower garden and his water garden. This is one of approximately 20 views or irises surrounding the banks of the lily pond that Monet painted around 1914–17. It is as though we are sta...
This peaceful river landscape depicts the Oise near the village of Auvers, where Daubigny built a home in 1860. At the far right, mostly hidden by a clump of trees, is Daubigny’s studio boat, nicknamed Le Botin (Little Box). It was originally a ferry boat which the artist had converted with the...
Not on display
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
A saint with a bald head and curly beard stands on a marble platform, his large, deep-set eyes looking straight out at us. He can be identified by the large keys which he holds: he is Saint Peter, the first pope, to whom Christ gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16: 18–19). This is t...
Not on display
Verrocchio had a large and active studio in Florence, and trained many artists who would become leading figures in the Florentine Renaissance, including Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. He usually collaborated closely with his students, giving them the opportunity to work on important parts of a...
Whatever the purpose of this picture, the subject – a shabby man clutching an ale mug and pipe, his eyes cast to the ceiling as if searching in vain for a thought – is meant to be an object of ridicule. It has been suggested that the image might be a vanitas, an allegory of the fleeting nature of...
Not on display
The unusual horn-shaped cap and sumptuous silk robes identify this man as a doge, the elected ruler of Venice. We can‘t be sure who he is, but he has been identified in the past as Doge Niccolò Marcello, who was in power briefly from 1473 to 1474. A medal (Bode Museum, Berlin) inscribed with Marc...
A group of wealthy Venetians sits in the portico of a country house. Two of them play instruments while a young African page holds their music book. They ignore the beggar who holds out his hand for alms, his sores licked by a dog. The painting is disfigured by ingrained dirt, making it difficult...
Not on display
A towering rain cloud seems to threaten an early close to this game of archery. Perhaps the storm will come as a relief – although the archer takes aim with an eager eye, only one of the three arrows already shot has hit the target. The game seems almost incidental, however: Teniers is here telli...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,644 paintings