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30 of 2,652 paintings
This is a fragment of a scene showing the Adoration of the Kings, which was part of an altarpiece made for the high altar of the Benedictine abbey at Liesborn. Two of the three kings kneel before the Christ Child, who lies in the Virgin Mary’s lap on a white cloth. They had followed a star to fin...
This is a fragment of a fresco that was discovered under whitewash in 1855. It shows a group of nuns; the central figure has a gentle gaze and gracefully places her hand across her breast. It is in good condition but some of the colours have faded. Traces of brown paint remain in the tunics, ide...
A dark-haired man gazes to his right in a picture that must once have formed the right wing of a diptych or triptych (a painting made up of two or three parts respectively). He has not joined his hands in prayer, but his right is placed on his heart and he holds a rosary: he is clearly at his dev...
Willem van der Vliet has placed his sitter, Suitbertus Purmerent, in a heavy chair against a plain dark background, with heavy books on the table; one is held slightly open by the weight of a large crucifix. There’s the suggestion of a smile in Purmerent’s eyes and around his mouth (almost hidden...
Not on display
This painting and Portrait of a Woman aged about 45, also in the National Gallery, were designed to hang together as portraits of a husband and wife. They are said to have been given by the painter Sir William Boxall RA, director of the National Gallery from 1865 to 1874, to his friend, the archi...
Not on display
Although we do not know his name, we can tell a lot about Baldung Grien’s mature sitter from the details of his costume. The large fur collar of his coat, the jewel on his cap and the two gold chains around his neck show off his wealth. The longer chain bears two badges: the Virgin and Child with...
Not on display
Aurelia Ciommi was a favourite model for Mancini in Rome, posing for some 25 paintings. Her nickname was La Cornacchia (The Crow), expressive of her sharp and animated features. Here, she seems to reveal for our delectation an austere and elegant Renaissance portrait bust of a woman in white marb...
On display elsewhere
Filippo Fasanini, who died in 1531, instructed the executors of his will to commission this altarpiece for his chapel dedicated to Saint Philip and Saint James in S. Domenico, Bologna. It is signed on the throne’s plinth: IERONIMVS. TREVISIVS. P.[INXIT] (‘Girolamo of Treviso painted this’).Filipp...
Two men in turbans are seated under a tree that provides little shade. One has his back to us; the other shows off his glorious costume, a bushy moustache giving him extra character. He clutches a jar and looks across the scene, though his eyes are hidden by his headwear.Depictions of people in ‘...
This is one of four paintings of saints and angels made to decorate a pair of shutters. It was common at the time for altarpieces to have shutters to embellish and protect them. The central image these shutters would once have flanked is now missing.The Latin inscription on the plinth beneath the...
Not on display
A lone driver steers his horses and wagon down a steep bank into what seems like a deep ford. It’s an idyllic scene evoking afternoon light filtering through woodland, and the subject is typical of Rubens’s burst of interest in landscape painting in the last five years of his life. Rather than pa...
Not on display
The fourth-century saint Margaret of Antioch was cast out by her father, a pagan priest, when she converted to Christianity. She was left to fend for herself tending sheep.She’s dressed as a wealthy shepherdess, with a lambskin jacket over her picturesque costume and a straw hat fashionably cocke...
Not on display
This panel comes from the altarpiece Ugolino made for the church of Santa Croce in Florence – it was in the predella (’step', the lowest part of an altarpiece). Three other panels from this predella are in the National Gallery’s collection.The dead Christ is being removed from the Cross. One man...
This impassive face is almost certainly that of Jan van Eyck himself, and the painting a powerful statement of his artistic skill. His motto, Als Ich Can, is painted in Greek letters on the upper frame; the words are an abbreviation of a Flemish saying and a pun on Jan’s name: ‘as I[ich/Eyk] can...
This gloriously cluttered picture seems to suggest the aftermath of a rich banquet that’s gone a little too far. Objects sit on the table at a perilous angle or materialise from nowhere, but the one that takes centre stage is secure. It’s called a nautilus cup and is meant to impress. It’s made f...
Hobbema specialised in landscapes which present a positive, even idealised, evocation of carefree country life, where the trees are always heavy with summer leaf, the tracks are dry and there is only a gentle breeze in the air.This didn’t necessarily reflect day-to-day realities. Woodland of this...
Not on display
The Christ Child lies naked and glowing in the centre of the main panel of this arched altarpiece, adored by his parents and four saints. More saints stand in the pilasters. Recent research has identified the original location of this altarpiece as a small chapel in the castle of Cerreto Ciampoli...
Not on display
Structurally and thematically, this picture is similar to one of Teniers’s best-known paintings, Kitchen Interior (Mauritshuis, The Hague), which shows a seated woman peeling apples in a cavernous kitchen with a still life of fruit, pots and a panoply of dead game to her right and a dog to her le...
Not on display
Saint John the Baptist, dressed in a hair shirt and a purple mantle, holds his attribute of a lamb. This refined painting was originally the left wing of a small triptych (an image made up of three parts). The central panel, which shows the Virgin and Child, is now in the Uffizi, Florence while t...
Born into a family of physicians in Picerno, then in the Kingdom of Naples, Joseph-Nicolas-Blaise Forlenze (1751–1833) was a pioneering ophthalmologist and surgeon based in Paris, where this near life-size portrait of him was exhibited at the Salon of 1808.Fashionably dressed in a long-tailed bla...
The god Jupiter wished to immortalise his infant son Hercules, whose mother was the mortal Alcmene, so he held him to the breast of his sleeping wife, the goddess Juno, to drink her milk. However, Juno woke. The milk which spurted upwards formed the Milky Way, while that which fell downwards gave...
Not on display
The subject of this painting is taken from the Old Testament Book of Ruth. The youthful widowed Moabite Ruth is gleaning (gathering up corn left after the harvest) to support her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. The landowner Boaz has heard of her situation, and impressed by her devotion has instruc...
A youthful Virgin Mary looks tenderly down at her son, the infant Christ Child, wriggling on her lap. Christ reaches out to embrace Saint John the Baptist, identifiable by the reed cross he holds. The composition of this painting is constructed along diagonals and the Virgin’s serene bearing cont...
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...
Venus, the goddess of love, looks over at her lover Mars. She is alert and dignified, while he – the god of war – is utterly lost in sleep. He doesn‘t even notice the chubby satyr (half child, half goat) blowing a conch shell in his ear.This picture was probably ordered to celebrate a marriage, a...
These three oil sketches, or modelli, were made by Rubens in preparation for an altarpiece for St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, which was commissioned by Bishop Maes around 1611. The central panel shows Saint Bavo, a Roman solider who left the military to join the Christian Church, standing on the ste...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,652 paintings