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30 of 2,623 paintings
This is a very early work by Bernardo Bellotto, the talented nephew of the influential Venetian artist Canaletto. It was painted in around 1738, when he was only about 16 years old and working in his uncle’s studio in Venice. By this time Bellotto was creating his own versions of some of Canalett...
This angel was part of an elaborate painted and sculpted altarpiece made for the church for San Francesco Grande in Milan. The main image of the altarpiece was Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’, also in the National Gallery’s collection.This angel – playing a vielle, a type of fiddle...
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
Two standing women and a seated dog are seen in what may be a park. The picture perfectly summarises the achievements of the new technique that Monticelli had developed by the mid-1870s. He was applying his paint thickly, varying the strokes in both size and direction, and he also enriched his co...
Not on display
Christ’s body has been taken down from the Cross and brought to be entombed by his grieving mourners. The Virgin Mary gently touches her son’s hair and face. Mary Magdalene, her long hair uncovered, takes Christ’s hand tenderly in her own. Beside her, one of the holy women present at the Crucifix...
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
A number of grandly costumed figures are seen beside a fountain in an imaginary garden on the edge of a forest. Two men on horseback coming from the left are approaching a group of women standing in the centre but moved slightly to background. On the right, three other women and a dog are seen in...
Not on display
On the left a rocky hillside leads down to grassy pasture and a river. Cart tracks run through the pasture from the front edge. Cows graze, watched by a dog, and a lone washerwoman kneels on the right bank of the river, her white linen visible in the water. The river is the Cure in the Morvan reg...
Not on display
Christ kneels in prayer. He gazes up at an angel, who presents him with a chalice containing the instruments of the Passion (Christ’s torture and crucifixion). To the right, in a walled garden, three of the apostles sleep while a group of soldiers, led by Judas, peer furtively through an arched g...
Not on display
The man in this portrait has not yet been identified. The upper ring on his left forefinger may provide a clue: it seems to show the arms of the Strauss family (the other ring seems to have shown another coat of arms which can no longer be deciphered). It has been suggested that the man depicted...
Christ hangs from a T-shaped cross. Sorrowing angels circle above him in a stormy sky, while the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist stand on either side, wringing their hands. The skull – seen from beneath and minus its jaw bone – is probably that of Adam, the first man, but it’s also a r...
Not on display
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...
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...
Not on display
Adriaen van de Velde’s tranquil views made him one of the most successful Dutch landscape artists of his time. In this picture, the low horizon and high viewpoint give the impression of a vast distance ending in a range of low, misty hills.These hills are, like the rest of the scene, entirely ima...
Not on display
This small painting is an incomplete copy of a panel titled The Perfect Accord (L’Accord parfait), which Watteau probably painted between 1717 and 1719, and is now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This pastoral scene of a couple strolling in the countryside as other peop...
Not on display
Saint John the Baptist is shown between Saint Zeno, the fourth-century Bishop of Verona, and a female saint. Because of the finery of her clothing and her long flowing hair, she may be Saint Catherine, who was a princess from Alexandria. However, the saint is usually shown with the spiked wheel u...
Not on display
This is one of three mythological scenes to decorate a cassone, or chest, illustrating the story of Callisto as told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Jupiter seducing Callisto, also in the National Gallery, decorated the other end.Arcas, son of Jupiter and Callisto, draws back his bow. A bear emerges fro...
Not on display
The Abbé Scaglia (1592–1641), whose full name was Cesare Alessandro Scaglia di Verrua, was a cleric and diplomat well known in Rome, Madrid, London and Paris for his service to the House of Savoy and Philip IV of Spain. Scaglia was also an art collector of renown who knew, among others, Rubens, V...
This bronze statue shows the Roman god and hero Hercules fighting the giant Antaeus in one of his ‘Twelve Labours'. Antaeus could not be killed while he remained in contact with his mother, the Earth. Hercules, who was famous for his strength, was able to lift the giant and crush him to death.The...
Not on display
A muscular sea god, with dragon-like wings sprouting from his hips, is carrying off a naked woman. They are surrounded by winged infants known as putti and a host of marine divinities, some of whom ride on dolphins. Cupid aims an arrow at the couple in the centre. This is a working drawing, or ca...
Not on display
This is the second of two panels from a cassone (a large chest made for a domestic setting), which depict one of the founding stories of ancient Rome. When the Romans couldn't find wives, their leader Romulus came up with a devious plan: he invited the neighbouring Sabines to attend some celebrat...
Not on display
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
During the final two decades of his life Monet devoted himself to painting the water garden he had created at his home in Giverny, producing around 250 innovative canvases. His paintings became increasingly experimental as he gradually abandoned depictions of the banks of the pond, its Japanese b...
A bearded man in a hair robe is being violently threatened by a horde of demonic creatures. He has cast aside his book and is gazing up at the heavens for help, where Christ has appeared reclining on a cloud.This very small picture is one of a number of works on copper that Annibale Carracci pain...
Not on display
A naked golden-haired youth sits on a rock, playing the panpipes; another set of pipes hangs from the tree behind him. An older bearded man sits nearby on the ground, his panpipes also hanging from a branch. This is perhaps the satyr Marsyas; the youth may be Olympus, described in classical sourc...
Not on display
Christ appears as Salvator Mundi, or ‘Saviour of the World’, with a crystal orb in his left hand and his right hand raised in blessing, its shadow falling across his breast. The orb, surmounted by a golden cross, symbolises Christ’s rule on earth. His direct gaze and frontal pose engage the worsh...
Christen Købke probably painted this portrait of Wilhelm Bendz (1804–1832) around 1830. Both men were pupils of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.The style and technique are typical of Købke’s early maturity, when he was beginning to move away from the...
This is a copy of Titian’s large canvas known as ‘La Gloria’ (The Glory) or The Trinity. Titian’s painting was commissioned by Emperor Charles V of Spain in 1551, and is now in the Prado, Madrid.The Emperor and Empress with their son Prince Philip and his sisters kneel in their burial shrouds bef...
Not on display
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