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30 of 2,620 paintings
This life-size double portrait shows the youngest sons of the 3rd Duke of Lennox: Lord John Stuart, on the left, with his brother Lord Bernard Stuart. They were only about 17 and 18 but they ooze aristocratic superiority and are dressed in extravagant fashion.Van Dyck’s ability to evoke the textu...
Against the setting sun, three hunting dogs rest beside an overflowing basket of dead birds and game. The two on the right are chained up; one sniffs the ground or laps water from an unseen bowl while the other stares, distracted, out of the picture frame. The unchained dog looks quizzically at a...
Not on display
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...
On display elsewhere
A saint clad in shining armour raises his sword to strike a hideous demon beneath his feet. This is the Archangel Michael fighting the devil, as described in the Book of Revelation. His multi-coloured wings meet over his head and curve protectively around the man who kneels at his feet. This is t...
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
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...
This is a copy by an anonymous artist of Salvator Rosa’s original work, which is now in the Hospital de Tavera in Toledo, Spain. The picture’s subject is taken from the Old Testament Book of Genesis, which tells how the young Ishmael and his mother Hagar were banished into the desert of Beersheba...
Not on display
After a female friend boasted of the jewels she owned, Cornelia Africana, a widowed Roman matron and mother of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus (known as the Gracchi), declared her sons to be her jewels. Cornelia educated the boys after their father’s death and they went on to serve as tribunes (power...
Not on display
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul outlines the importance of faith, hope and charity, naming charity as the greatest of the three. At the time this picture was painted, charity meant combining the love of god with love of one’s neighbour.From the sixteenth century onward, charity...
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
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
This painting carries many of the hallmarks of an Italianate picture: a soft Mediterranean light, the sun still warm although night is falling, distant hills not likely to be seen in a flat Dutch landscape, and idealised peasants with their garments loosened and walking at a leisurely pace. As fa...
Not on display
The view is of Handeck, a hamlet in the Haslital valley in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. We are looking south towards the Bernese Alps and its glaciers in the far distance. The Handeck Falls – for which the area is well known – can be seen in the narrow pass just below. The river in the valley...
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 elegant young man’s identity is revealed on the strip of paper or parchment curled around the pole. The inscription is now difficult to read, but appears to say: Lodovico Martinengo at the age of _ years. Painted by Bartolomeo Veneto 16 June 1530.When the picture was first acquired by the Na...
Not on display
Country peasants and smartly dressed gentlefolk assemble for a feast on the rolling hills outside Antwerp, seen silhouetted on the horizon. Cooks are busy preparing the meal in large cauldrons while birds wheel in the sky above, anticipating the pickings soon to be had. A stone cross carved with...
Not on display
This small picture shows the great Piazza San Marco – the most famous square in Venice. We look through an archway, stood in the shadows just behind a group of figures; it is as if we are walking past them along the colonnade. A vendor surrounded by baskets shows his wares to two gentlemen. A man...
Cornelius Johnson spent much of his career working in London, but this portrait of an unknown lady was painted in Holland in 1655, 12 years after he left England.The black costume was fashionable at the time, but the gown must have belonged to the artist rather than the lady as it appears in at l...
Not on display
This altarpiece is a unique example in the National Gallery’s collection of a work made by a late medieval artist working on both sides of the Adriatic, the sea between Italy and the Balkan coast. The picture may be one of the earliest painted representations of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conce...
Not on display
Monet’s earlier paintings of the Normandy coast had emphasised it as a working seascape, peopled with fishermen who had to contend with a cold climate, choppy seas and stormy skies. But this painting and the eight others he made in the summer of 1870 show it as a holiday destination, with wide sa...
This is one of two fragments in the National Gallery’s collection of a larger work that showed the Virgin Mary and Christ Child seated in a garden. It shows Saint Margaret, who was from the town of Antioch (in modern-day Turkey). She wears a headdress of pearls, as her name means ‘pearl’ in Greek...
Not on display
A bishop saint, a mitre on his head and his crosier leaning casually against his shoulder, stands reading a book. This is Saint Nicholas of Bari, an enormously popular saint who is thought to have lived in the fourth century, and about whom almost nothing certain is known. This is the right-hand...
Not on display
In one of his parables, Christ told of a rich man who squirrelled away his grain and his goods, hoarding them to ensure his future comfort instead of using them for charitable deeds. But God commanded that the man’s time to die had come: ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:...
Not on display
Pissarro and his family moved to Louveciennes in the spring of 1869, and he may have painted this picture shortly afterwards, or possibly in the spring of 1870. Only 30 minutes west of Paris by train, Louveciennes was an important location for early Impressionism, as it was one of the small towns...
Despite the title, the boy is not drawing but studying a sketchbook – there’s no sign of drawing implements. In front of him is a cast of the Christ Child from Michelangelo’s statue of the Virgin and Child (Church of Our Lady, Bruges) and another book of sketches, but the drawing we see on the op...
Not on display
Against a grey sky threatening snow, the people of Dordrecht are out on the ice. In the foreground, a man chats to a woman with a laden basket. The sharp pink of her jacket is echoed on the saddle cloth of one of the horses on the left, the vivid colour enlivening the muted browns and greys of th...
On display elsewhere
This is a copy of a signed work by Salvator Rosa of about 1645 (now in the Pitti Palace, Florence). It depicts an episode from the life of Diogenes, the ancient Greek philosopher who wanted to be free of all earthly attachments. Upon seeing a boy using his hands to drink from a stream, Diogenes t...
Not on display
A wine glass, a flask-shaped carafe, a knife and a plate of fruit are shown on a table, set against a flat dark background. The table is covered by a cloth decorated with flowers and blue stripes that help create a sense of recession into depth.Most of Monticelli’s still life paintings were made...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,620 paintings