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30 of 2,627 paintings
Perugino painted this altarpiece for the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. It stood in the side chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael in the Carthusian monastery (also known as a charterhouse or certosa) in Pavia, a town outside Milan. The Duke was captured by invading French forces in 1499, an...
Not on display
A cardinal sits in a red velvet chair decorated with gold braid. One of his hands lies on the arm rest, the other holds his cardinal’s biretta (hat) on his knee. Behind him is a bookcase, the shelves of which are lined with very large leather-bound volumes.The sitter is identified by the inscript...
Aeneas, prince of Troy, dressed here in an orange cloak, left his native city and arrived with his father, son, and companions on the island of Delos, home of the sun god Apollo. Anius, the King of Delos, dressed in white, gestures to an olive and palm in the centre of the painting, two trees sac...
Not on display
Breenbergh shows us an Old Testament story taking place in an imaginary Egypt, with luxuriant European foliage under a grey Northern sky and exquisitely detailed portrayals of antiquities: obelisks, a column, a pyramid and a stela (a carved commemorative slab of stone). Not all these antique obje...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary gently supports the Christ Child as he plays with her hair. He casts a curious glance at his cousin, Saint John the Baptist, who is recognisable by the fine wooden cross tucked under his arm, a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. The Virgin’s fair complexion and golden hair were consi...
Saint Mary Magdalene is here depicted with eyes raised heavenward, a sign of her devotion and penance. The Gospels describe Mary of Magdala as one of Christ’s followers, a witness to his burial and resurrection. Mary Magdalene was later identified with another biblical figure, an unnamed woman un...
Not on display
A group of cattle and goats has been herded to drink in a stream or pool. Two country girls, a child and a man sit quietly on the sandy bank. The sun begins to sink behind the distant hills, casting a golden evening light over the peaceful woody landscape.Gainsborough’s painting is based on a dra...
In this picturesque landscape the bright blue sky and leafy trees reflect the warm climate. The path and river lead our eye towards the town in the distance. In the foreground, a seated man washes his feet in a fountain. On the right, a woman beside a shepherd points towards a large column, which...
This panel once decorated the inner face of the right-hand shutter of an altarpiece made for the Benedictine abbey in Werden, near Cologne. An earlier episode of the saint’s life – the moment of his conversion to Christianity – appeared on the left-hand shutter.After his conversion, Hubert devote...
Centre stage, against a shadowy, mostly black-and-white background, the bright red jacket inevitably draws our eye to the young woman. She leans back – rather immodestly, a glass of wine held in her lap, knees apart, one foot up on a box – and smiles directly up at the man offering her an oyster....
Not on display
This is one of the largest paintings ever made by Rembrandt, and one of only two life-size equestrian portraits of ordinary citizens in the history of Dutch art. The rider has been identified as the prosperous businessman Frederik Rihel. His bright yellow jerkin, fancy gloves, shimmering sleeves...
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
A young woman crouches in the bottom right-hand corner, trying to cover her nakedness with her cloak, while two bearded men leer at her and pull at her clothes. This is Susannah, an Old Testament heroine. Bathing one hot day in her husband’s garden, she was seen by two elders – senior members of...
This is the third of Lancret’s series of paintings depicting The Four Ages of Man and represents Youth (La Jeunesse).Three pairs of lovers embrace one another in a woodland glade. In the foreground, two archers are engaged in a game of ‘pape-guay’, which involves shooting at an imitation bird (us...
This panel comes from the Benedictine abbey at Liesborn in Westphalia. The scene may have been inspired by the central panel of the altarpiece made by the same artist for the abbey’s high altar, fragments of which are also in the National Gallery’s collection.Its horizontal shape suggests that it...
Not on display
At the age of 12, Jesus was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph, who became accidentally separated from him. They found him three days later debating learnedly with the theologians there (Luke 2: 41). This is the moment at which Christ first identifies himself as the son of God: ‘...
Not on display
The inscription at the top of this picture tells us this is a portrait of Leonello d’Este, Marquis of Ferrara. Leonello succeeded his father in 1441 and this picture was painted six years later. It shows him in profile, drawing attention to his sloping forehead and distinctive long nose – accord...
Not on display
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