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30 of 2,660 paintings
Looking across the basin of San Marco, this vast view captures the scale and splendour of a ceremony taking place along the waterfront. Boats carrying spectators and animated gondoliers surround the gold and red state barge or Bucintoro, its upper deck crowded with figures. Every year on Ascensio...
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
A path runs along a white wall with a grassy common to the right. The wall features two pale brown gates. Trees behind the wall suggest a garden or orchard. The tonality is light, with the pale grey paint of the wall overlaid with small, square touches of creams, yellows and pinks, giving a sense...
Not on display
This is one of the most well-known views of classical Rome. We are looking across the Forum towards the Palazzo Senatorio on the Capitol. Although the Forum had yet to be fully excavated, the three surviving columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux can be seen here on the left. The remains of t...
Not on display
Salome displays the severed head of John the Baptist as his executioner places it in a footed bowl. Her mother Herodias, who held a grudge against John the Baptist for saying her marriage to Herod was unlawful, persuaded Salome to ask for this grisly prize from Herod as a reward for her dancing (...
Not on display
A young man kneels on a river bank, struggling to pull a large, wriggling fish out of the water. Behind him an angel points to the fish, and is clearly instructing him what to do with it. This is the story of Tobias and the Angel as told in the apocryphal Book of Tobit. Following the angel’s dire...
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’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
A young woman in armour, her horse tied to a tree behind her, has wandered into a kind of rustic concert. A shepherd and his family are sitting outside their cottage; the elderly father weaves baskets out of reeds and his sons hold musical instruments.This pastoral idyll is a scene from an epic p...
The unusual horn-shaped cap and sumptuous silk robes identify this man as a doge, the elected ruler of Venice. We can‘t be sure who he is, but he has been identified in the past as Doge Niccolò Marcello, who was in power briefly from 1473 to 1474. A medal (Bode Museum, Berlin) inscribed with Marc...
The Archangel Gabriel descends from God to tell the Virgin that she is to bear a child – a moment known as the Annunciation – but has been distracted from his mission by a bishop saint, who has stopped him in the street of a Renaissance town. This is Saint Emidius, patron saint of the town of Asc...
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
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
Christ, barefoot and weeping but dressed in rich red and blue, is bent under the weight of the Cross. The spikes of the crown of thorns dig into his flesh, and crystal tears drip down his cheeks. He is dragging the Cross to his own crucifixion.The setting is not first-century Palestine, but Renai...
Christ’s disciples were gathered together 50 days after his death when, according to the Bible, a strong wind began to blow. Flames like ‘tongues of fire’ appeared on their heads and they were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 1–4). This event, called Pentecost, was when the disciples were give...
Not on display
Christ blesses the viewer with his right hand. Antonello has altered the original position of the fingers and hand, foreshortening them – that is, compressing their real length – so that they appear to be projecting out of the picture. If you look closely, you can see the outlines of their initi...
Although we don't know the identity of this woman, her clothing and the objects around her suggest that she was painted in around 1500 and most probably came from Cologne. The portrait was almost certainly part of a diptych (a painting made of two panels), which could have been hinged at the cent...
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
Verrocchio had a large and active studio in Florence, and trained many artists who would become leading figures in the Florentine Renaissance, including Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. He usually collaborated closely with his students, giving them the opportunity to work on important parts of a...
Alfred Stevens found success with his paintings of elegant young women in imaginary situations, posed against highly decorative backgrounds. In 1880 he became ill with a lung condition and was advised to make regular trips to Normandy for his health, where he made a series of small paintings of t...
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...
This is one of five versions of Sunflowers on display in museums and galleries across the world. Van Gogh made the paintings to decorate his house in Arles in readiness for a visit from his friend and fellow artist, Paul Gauguin.‘The sunflower is mine’, Van Gogh once declared, and it is clear tha...
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...
We're looking at a landscape in the Low Countries, probably the flatlands between Nijmegen and Cleves in the eastern part of the Netherlands, which Cuyp had visited in the early 1650s. But the golden light, and that implied heat, is more reminiscent of southern Europe than the north. It was a com...
Not on display
A patch of sunlight lights up the thatched roof of an old watermill and the white foam of the turbulent river passing. Allart van Everdingen has made little of the wheel that marks the cottage as a mill – he has concentrated on the mood created by the water and the colours of the surrounding land...
Not on display
This bearded cardinal once stood at the left side of a small altarpiece that Crivelli painted for a side chapel in the church of San Domenico, in Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. This is Saint Jerome, one of the Fathers of the Church and a favourite saint of the Dominican Order as a defender...
Not on display
A maid pounds garlic in a mortar, and other ingredients lie scattered on the table: fish, eggs, a shrivelled red pepper and an earthenware jug probably containing olive oil. An older woman points towards her, as if giving her instructions or telling her off for working too hard, or she may be dra...
Not on display
This is one of a pair of seascapes, originally commissioned on behalf of the King of Poland, that the British officer and East India Company official Lord Clive (known as Clive of India) bought from Vernet in 1773.Originally known as ‘Tempête’ (Storm), it depicts a rocky shoreline buffeted by a v...
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
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