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30 of 2,661 paintings
This is a view of the coast at Palavas-les-Flots, a fishing village south of Montpellier. The picture is similar to seascapes that Gustave Courbet painted there during his several visits to Montpellier in the 1850s. In particular, there are resemblances to his small painting The Seaside at Pala...
Not on display
This painting on canvas, together with another Group of Heads, is a copy of part of Correggio’s destroyed fresco, The Coronation of the Virgin, which was painted in the apse of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Parma. A number of fragments of Correggio’s original fresco are also in the National Gallery’...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary, regal and refined, is seated on an inlaid stone throne with the Christ Child on her knee. Two musical angels with multi-coloured wings balance on the back of the throne, and there is a Latin inscription on the front of the marble parapet beneath it: REGINA CELI LETTARE ALLELVIA (...
Not on display
We are looking through a gilded arch into a small chapel in which the Virgin is breastfeeding the Christ Child to an angelic musical accompaniment. She cradles him in her arms, and looks down affectionately as he hungrily squeezes her breast.This is one of around 60 versions of a lost painting by...
Not on display
This long panel is a twentieth-century copy of the predella of an altarpiece by Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de‘ Roberti made for the Griffoni chapel of the church of S. Petronio, Bologna. The original predella, attributed to Ercole de’ Roberti, is in the Vatican Museums, Rome.It shows scenes f...
Not on display
This picture illustrates an episode in the life of Moses (Exodus 2: 16–19). Having fled Egypt, Moses was resting by a well in the land of Midian when seven women, the daughters of a priest named Jethro, approached to draw water for their sheep. A number of shepherds tried to drive them away, but...
The fires of hell light up Teniers’s cave-like underworld with an eerie glow. An old man stands, hands raised in self-defence, his eyes wide with fear at the sight of the horrors around him. Weird creatures gather in glee to welcome another soul into the dreadful place that his greed and avarice...
Not on display
The central character of this painting is hidden in the shadows: a man with long hair and a beard who seems to draw the attention of the people gathered before him. This is Saint John the Baptist, standing on what looks like an improvised pulpit. The large crowd is divided between conversation an...
Not on display
This mysterious landscape of a wood bounded by the sweeping curve of a river was, for its time, highly innovative. Instead of using trees to create a frame for an attractive view, which was the traditional approach, Cornelis Vroom has made the wood itself the focus.Yet he has still managed to cre...
Not on display
The Virgin and Child sit on the edge of a wood between two sawn stumps of olive trees that resemble the arms of a throne. Shoots have grown from each stump and the Virgin bends the taller one towards Christ, who raises his hand as if to grasp it. The olive is symbolic of peace and its vigorous re...
Not on display
This painting is very similar to but roughly half the size of another landscape by Aelbert Cuyp, also in the National Gallery’s collection: A Distant View of Dordrecht, with a Milkmaid and Four Cows, and Other Figures. We don't know which was painted first but presumably one of Cuyp’s customers s...
The Virgin sits outdoors on a stone parapet, holding the naked Christ Child on her knee. Saint Joseph looks down thoughtfully at the baby’s tiny foot in his hand. The infant Christ clings on to Joseph’s staff and turns to regard us over his shoulder, apparently raising his hand to bless Joseph....
Not on display
Saint John the Baptist stands in a rocky landscape, a reference to the wilderness in which he lived as a young man, dressed in a camel-hair tunic and eating only locusts and honey.He embraces a lamb, a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, and points towards heaven. According to the Gospel, when Saint Jo...
Not on display
This graceful golden-haired princess comes from a predella, a row of scenes along the base of an altarpiece, or from the frame of an altarpiece. She is Saint Catherine, shown with her traditional attributes of a spiked wheel and a cactus-like martyr’s palm.To show off his skill with foreshortenin...
Not on display
Crivelli painted this unusual image of the Virgin standing alone with no Christ Child for the church of San Francesco, Pergola, a little town in the north of the Italian Marche. The Virgin is depicted in a particular role, surrounded by symbols and texts that express the idea that she was conceiv...
Not on display
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
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
This is thought to be one of Boccaccino’s earliest known works. It is an altarpiece painted for the choir screen of the church of S. Domenico in Cremona.Christ carries the Cross escorted by three soldiers, two of whom are pulling the rope around his neck. The procession winds up the hill, on top...
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...
Claude takes the subject of this painting from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The nymph Echo is in love with the beautiful youth Narcissus, who rejects her. In Claude’s painting, the goddess Nemesis punishes Narcissus by making him fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.The castle in the...
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
Mars, the god of war, is presented with a choice. Should he continue his march into war, or should he show mercy and retreat? Figures representing the different qualities of war and peace surround him, encouraging him to follow their example. Alecto, one of the three goddesses of vengeance (known...
Not on display
The church we are looking into here – the Cunerakerk – still towers above the small town of Rhenen in the Netherlands. Bartholomeus van Bassen was an expert in painting church interiors such as these, often adding inventive details, though he employed other artists to paint the figures.The Cunera...
Not on display
Clear, soft light illuminates a peaceful landscape, giving a sense that everything is in its place and all’s well with the world. But the rider’s attention is caught by a young lad who seems to point anxiously towards something likely to disturb the tranquillity. Crouched in the bushes on the lef...
In 1916 Monet had a new studio built at his home in Giverny in order to work on huge canvases of his water-lily pond, each of them more than two metres high. These monumental paintings were intended to form an entire decorative scheme, and he donated 22 of them to the French state after the Firs...
Not on display
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
This is a nineteenth-century copy of a much larger painting made by Murillo for Seville Cathedral in 1660 (Louvre, Paris). During the French occupation of Seville, Murillo’s painting was moved to Paris, where this copy was probably produced around 1810.In his painting, Murillo explored the theme...
Not on display
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