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Sketch on the Square

Bringing art outdoors as part of the Inside Out festival

A month of free interactive art sessions and giant replica paintings

Throughout August 2021

Inside Out festival

This summer, we're teaming up with Westminster City Council to bring art into the outdoors as part of the Inside Out festival. 

From 10 August – 2 September, Trafalgar Square will play host to a giant alfresco exhibition of life-sized replicas of the Nation's Favourite Paintings.

Walk through centuries of iconic works – from Botticelli's Venus and Mars to Turner's Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers – and experience them up-close, against the majestic façade of the National Gallery. 

You'll be able to learn about the works via the free Smartify app. Simply scan the QR codes to unlock the stories behind the paintings. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Nation's Favourite Paintings gallery will now open on 10 August, slightly later than first advertised.

Sketch on the Square

From 3 August, there'll also be Sketch on the Square, a programme of free, daily outdoor art activities to inspire you to have a go at creating your own masterpiece.

Throughout August, there'll be 30 easels in Trafalgar Square, ready and waiting for you to paint, draw or sketch whatever sparks your imagination, or to join one of our live artist and educator-led sessions.

All sessions will be free and open to all ages and abilities. Whether you want to learn tips and techniques, gain introductions to art history, or make art as a family, there'll be something for everyone. 

See the full programme and book tickets.

Art in AR

As part of the Inside Out festival, you can also enjoy an immersive augmented reality art trail.

Beginning just outside the Gallery, follow a trail around the West End, exploring paintings from some of London's leading cultural institutions. 

Download the free app, Art of London AR Gallery, and scan the stickers at each stop on the trail to hear special audio commentaries from artists and curators about the works, including our own mysterious Wilton Diptych

Find out more about the trail

Pop-up café

And if you need to put your feet up after standing at the easel, the National Gallery Café will be popping up in Trafalgar Square, by the famous Fourth Plinth, serving drinks and light bites. 

Grab a coffee, sit back, bask in the sun (hopefully), and enjoy the spectacular views across London from the terrace. 

Follow us

We'd love to see what you create during the festival. Tag us in your posts on social media at:

Instagram @nationalgallery
Facebook @thenationalgallery
Twitter @NationalGallery
TikTok @nationalgallerylondon

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