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Paintings on art route TE
21 of 21 paintings
While out hunting, Actaeon accidentally stumbles upon the secret bathing place of Diana, chaste goddess of the hunt, and sees her naked. His fate is foretold by the stag’s skull on the plinth and the skins of Diana’s former prey hanging above her head. The conclusion of the story is shown in anot...
The nymph Callisto was the favourite of Diana, virgin goddess of the hunt. Jupiter, king of the gods, noticed her beauty and disguised himself to seduce her. Titian has painted the moment Diana forces Callisto to strip and bathe after hunting and discovers her pregnancy. The drama is heightened b...
The story of Actaeon is told in the Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid. In Titian’s earlier Diana surprised by Actaeon, painted for King Philip II of Spain in 1556–9 and now jointly owned by the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland, Actaeon disturbs the goddess Diana and her...
A young family enjoys a tender moment in a leafy glade. Venus, goddess of love, holds her son Cupid’s bow as his father Mercury, god of wisdom, teaches him to read. Mercury looks down fondly at his child but Venus gazes dreamily towards us and smiles. Unusually, Venus is shown with wings.The pain...
This is one of perhaps only three surviving panel paintings by the great Florentine artist Michelangelo. It shows Christ’s body being carried to his tomb. It was probably made for a funerary chapel in the church of S. Agostino, Rome – commissioned in 1500 and left unfinished when Michelangelo ret...
This is an old copy, badly damaged in places, of a now lost painting that Michelangelo made for Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, in 1530. The Duke had recently received three mythological paintings from Titian, including the National Gallery’s Bacchus and Ariadne, so in accepting the commission M...
An unknown man sits at an inlaid table wearing a large black fur-lined coat and black hat. His eyes do not fix on us but appear to be watching something slightly to our left. He holds the so-called Durazzo Book of Hours by Francesco Marmitta, created about 20 years earlier (now in the Biblioteca...
The infant Christ places a ring on Saint Catherine’s finger in her vision of a ‘mystic marriage’. Parmigianino has positioned the gold ring with a blue stone at the very centre of the painting. Beside Saint Catherine is the spiked wheel upon which she was tortured for her Christian faith.The iden...
We have interrupted a young man reading; he turns to look over his shoulder at us. The unguarded look creates the impression that we are seeing him as he really is. His identity is uncertain, although he may be the stationer Lorenzo di Matteo Peri, whose family commissioned Andrea del Sarto’s Dis...
The Virgin Mary turns to look down at the kneeling man beside her and extends a protective arm around his shoulder. Saint John the Baptist points at the lively Christ Child, while Saint Joseph sleeps with his head on his arm. The diagonals in the composition draw the viewer’s eye to Christ’s gaze...
At the request of Martha and Mary, Jesus visited the grave of their brother Lazarus and raised him from the dead (John 11:1–44). Sebastiano shows Christ standing with one hand raised to invoke the power of God and the other pointing to Lazarus, who is seated on the edge of his stone tomb.Christ s...
Three male heads at different stages of life are paired with the heads of three animals: a wolf, a lion and a dog. The Latin inscription divided to correspond to the three heads translates as: ‘Learning from Yesterday, Today acts prudently lest by his action he spoil Tomorrow.’ The meaning and pu...
One of the most famous paintings in the National Gallery, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne illustrates a story told by the classical authors Ovid and Catullus. The Cretan princess Ariadne has been abandoned on the Greek island of Naxos by Theseus, whose ship sails away in the distance. Bacchus, god o...
Titian painted this picture when he was in his early twenties, at a time when private portraits of individual women were still rare. We don‘t know the identity of the sitter, if indeed this is a portrait in the traditional sense, rather than a general picture of a woman designed to encourage such...
In this, one of Titian’s earliest portraits, the sitter turns to look at us over his shoulder and momentarily meets our gaze. Our attention is focused on the raised brow above his right eye, which is positioned midway across the picture. The man’s elbow rests on a parapet and his voluminous quilt...
The Virgin and Child are accompanied by the young Saint John the Baptist and a kneeling woman, who cannot be clearly identified. She holds the infant Christ in her arms and gazes at him in adoration.It is not clear which, if any, New Testament episode is shown here. The shepherd and herdsman in t...
The Pharisees (chief priests) ask Christ whether it is right to pay tax to the Romans, who rule Palestine. Christ, sensing a trap, asks whose likeness and name are on the coinage: ‘They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then he saith unto them, render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and...
This is Titian’s largest group portrait. The man in a red robe is probably Gabriel Vendramin (1484–1552). The man holding the altar may be Gabriel’s brother, Andrea Vendramin (1481–1547), and the boys are his seven sons. On the altar is a reliquary of the True Cross that their great-great-grandfa...
The Virgin Mary gazes at the infant Christ who feeds from her breast. The naked child is encircled in his mother’s arms and twists away from us. Our eye is drawn from the Virgin’s delicate fingers, up the line of Christ’s back and to the expression of devotion on her face.Titian appears to be cit...
Naked Venus, the goddess of love, throws her arms around handsome young Adonis to stop him from going out to hunt. The story is told in Book 10 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. One morning when Venus departs in her sky-borne chariot, Adonis’s hounds rouse a wild boar, which turns on him. Venus hears Adon...
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