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30 of 2,644 paintings
This is a portrait of Cosimo I de‘ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, at the age of 40. It is based on Bronzino’s official portrait of the Duke of 1559, but is unlikely to have been painted by Bronzino or his assistants.Prior to Medici rule, Florence had been a republic. Cosimo was Duke of Florence f...
Not on display
This painting shows the inside of the famous rotunda (demolished in 1805) at Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea. Ranelegh opened in 1742 as one of London’s most prestigious pleasure gardens, and its main attraction was this vast circular building in which fashionable society could attend balls and liste...
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
These scenes come from a text written in twelfth century by an English monk called Eadmer, an early supporter of the idea that the Virgin was conceived without sin; they conclude in Helsinus Preaching the Celebration of the Feast of the Conception and (below) The French Canon restored to Life.The...
Not on display
This large pala (an altarpiece with a single, unified surface) was painted for a church in Pistoia, but sawn into pieces in the eighteenth century. It was reassembled in the National Gallery – look closely and you can see lines where the fragments were put back together.Two fourth-century saints...
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
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...
This preparatory sketch for a ceiling shows a sky with classical figures arranged on clouds. At the top is Jupiter – the chief deity – holding a crown and accompanied by an eagle clutching a thunderbolt (his attributes). Beside him is Juno, his wife. Below them to the left are Venus and Cupid, an...
Not on display
Saint Peter fled Rome after Christ’s crucifixion, scared that he too would be executed by the Romans; here, he stands in shock as Christ passes him on the road. When Peter asked Christ where he was going – the question in this painting’s title – he replied that he was headed to Rome to be crucifi...
Not on display
The young girl in this portrait seems a little shy and tentative. Her eyes are wide and enquiring, her eyebrows slightly raised. She holds out the fan a little awkwardly as if uncertain what to do with it. Her hand placed on her stomach almost appears to steady her.The girl’s identity is unknown,...
Canaletto’s sweeping view takes in everyday life on the Grand Canal. A stout helmsman stands aboard a finely decorated passenger barge to the left, while fishermen draw their nets in the centre. A boat carrying two women seems about to collide with one of the fishing vessels.Across the canal to t...
This is a copy of the central figure of Christ from Luini’s Christ Among the Doctors, also in National Gallery’s collection. Luini’s composition may be based on an original design by Leonardo.At the age of 12, Jesus was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph, who became accidentally...
Not on display
There are really two subjects of this painting. The landscape creates a slightly mysterious air. The trees are backlit by a bright sky, and the long reflection across the pond leads our eye to the open gate beyond. It seems we are in a walled park or the formal gardens of a grand house. Then ther...
Not on display
This small painting shows Christ coming down from heaven to receive the soul of his mother, who lies close to death. He floats above her accompanied by angels, two of whom hold a white cloth in which to carry the Virgin’s soul to heaven.The grieving apostles are administering the last rites to th...
Not on display
David Teniers seldom painted identifiable buildings, but in this case the large house partially hidden by trees has been identified as Het Sterckshof near Antwerp. It belonged to Jacob Edelheer, who was city secretary as well as a collector of artworks and scientific instruments.The figures on th...
Not on display
In 1845 Ary Scheffer painted an episode recounted by Saint Augustine in his Confessions. The Church Father recalled sitting with his mother Monica shortly before her death and discussing the kingdom of heaven. The picture, for which Scheffer used his own mother as the model for Saint Monica, beca...
Not on display
Saint John the Baptist stands in a rocky landscape, a reference to the wilderness in which he lived as a young man, dressed in a camel-hair tunic and eating only locusts and honey.He embraces a lamb, a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, and points towards heaven. According to the Gospel, when Saint Jo...
Not on display
This altarpiece was commissioned by Francesco de Strata for the high altar of his chapel in the church of S. Paolo in Vercelli. The altar was dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, who appears twice in the painting. She stands in the place of honour on the right-hand side of the Virgin and Child, hol...
Not on display
It is difficult to identify the musicians gathered here with certainty. The man standing on the right is probably the flautist and composer Michel de La Barre, who was a member of the French Académie de Musique – the music depicted is an exact copy of his trio sonatas for flute and bass published...
Not on display
The Virgin and Christ Child stand between two saints, one from the first century, one from the thirteenth. They don't have haloes, but we can tell who they are from their appearances and traditional attributes.On the left is the first-century Saint Paul, holding a book and the sword with which he...
Not on display
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
Born in the fourth century, Saint Jerome was a scholar and a monk. His translation of the Bible from Greek into Latin is known as the Vulgate, and it is still used by the Catholic Church today.Antonello offers a peek into the saint’s environment through a fictive stone wall pierced by a broad arc...
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 priest – whose hair has been shaved, or tonsured – once stood on the right side of a small altarpiece which Crivelli painted for the church of San Domenico, in Ascoli Piceno, in the Italian Marche. He is Saint Peter Martyr, the second saint of the Dominican Order, and their first martyr.The...
Not on display
Rosalba Carriera was one of a small number of women to make a highly successful international career as an artist in the eighteenth century. A native of Venice, she began by painting portrait miniatures on ivory, but by the time she was in her twenties she was attracting an international clientel...
Not on display
This may look like a portrait of an elderly man but his unusually dramatic expression suggests otherwise. He is Saint Peter, one of Christ’s apostles. We know this because his head is copied from a larger picture by El Greco, The Tears of Saint Peter (Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle), which focuses...
Not on display
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
You've viewed 30 of 2,644 paintings