National Gallery. The most important London museum
The National Gallery is one of the most important London museums. Here is an impressive collection of paintings, covering the period from 1260 to 1900 with the works of almost all famous artists of the era.
History of the National Gallery
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, King George IV noticed that many European cities had opened their art museums to the public, including the Louvre in Paris, the Vatican Museums in Rome and the Uffizi in Florence. He did not want Britain to be left behind, so in 1824 he forced the government to redeem the house of the late John Julius Angerstein – a wealthy Russian banker and collector of works of art.
The purchase included a valuable collection of thirty-four paintings with works by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens. The works were originally shown at the banker’s house at Pall Mall. Over the following years, the collection grew to one of the most prestigious in Europe. More than 2,300 paintings are now on display in the monumental building in Trafalgar Square.
The neoclassical building, which now houses the museum, was completed in 1838 by the highly criticized design of the English architect William Wilkins. It was built on Trafalgar Square, which had just started to gain its face, which was simply cleared of old structures. Plans for the change of the building were never realized, and in 1876 the museum was expanded with a new eastern wing. In the mid-1980s, a new expansion was launched, but modern design faced with opposition from conservative Londoners. Because of the intervention of the Prince of Wales, modernist construction was postponed, and the plan was replaced by the more conventional building of the present Sainsbury wing. London for art lovers will be one of the best destinations in the world, which is worth a visit at least once in a lifetime.
National Gallery Collection
The collection of the National Gallery includes European paintings from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. Works are arranged in chronological order. The main entrance of the museum is located in the Sainsbury wing to the left of the main building, where you will find the oldest paintings by Giotto and Jan van Eick. The latest renaissance works of Titian, Michelangelo and others can also be found in the western wing. Seventeenth century paintings from Italy, Flanders, Spain, and the Netherlands are shown in the north wing and include works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio. Pictures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are on display in the east wing. Here you will find the impressionist and post-impressionist works of Van Gogh, Seurat and Renoir.
London can offer tourists many other interesting galleries. Contemporary art is represented in Tate Modern, and Tate Britn introduces guests to paintings by British artists. Adjacent to the Royal Art Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery features paintings depicting famous Englishmen such as Sir Christopher Rehn and Churchill. This is the most important museum of its kind. You can also read about the strangest museums in London in a separate collection.
Founded by industrialist Samuel Kurto, the Kurto Gallery is located in Somerset House and presents an excellent collection of paintings from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Of particular interest is her collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Another noteworthy gallery in London is the Dulwich Picture Gallery with the works of Van Dyck, Rubens, Rembrandt and Gainsborough. The Royal Gallery in Buckingham Palace mentioned above displays paintings from the royal collection.