Skip to main content

Sounds of the Gallery

What can you hear in a painting? Discover sounds in National Gallery paintings through an innovative new tour

Sounds of the Gallery tour

This audio tour gives visitors a new and imaginative way to engage with works in the collection: you are invited to think about how painters suggest sound. From the church bells in Constable’s ‘Cornfield’ to the river Thames in Monet’s London, discover just some of the myriad ways that artists suggest sound.

Take the tour at the Gallery

Audio guides are available from the audio guide desks in the Gallery.


  • Adult: £5
  • Concessions (senior citizens, students, under-12s, teachers, Members): £4.50
  • Groups of over 10 people: £3.50 per person
  • Family ticket (2 adults + up to 2 children under 12): £10

Find out where to pick up audio guides and how to make group bookings

Sound artist commissions

Listen to samples from the works and find out more about the artists:

The tour also includes the best works from students participating in Transcriptions: Sound.

Sound art

Painting is a silent art, but the best painters engage all our senses. They are concerned with the illusion of space, conveying texture and smell – and with rhythm, tone and harmony.

Contrasting colours shout at us, while fluid lines and quiet tones create harmony. Body language, gesture and the rhythms of a composition can suggest movement and noise or set up tension, a quiet about to be broken.

The sound artists on this tour show just some of the ways that painters suggest sound.

Take the tour – or find out more about the sound artists.

Image above: Detail from Turner, 'The Fighting Temeraire', 1839