National Gallery

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National Gallery in London is one of the most famous galleries in the world with concentration of some important art works. It is located on the Trafalgar Square in London. There are 2,300 paintings located here. The oldest ones are from the mid 13th century and it goes up to the year 1900.

National Gallery was established in 1824, when British government bought 38 paintings from the banker John Julius Angerstein. It opened to the public on May 10, 1824, housed in Angerstein's former townhouse on No. 100 Pall Mall. Afterwards it was shaped with its early directors and with private donations. Its collection is not comparable with other big ones form Europe (for instance Paris or Madrid), but it covers the main artistic periods from Early Renaissance to Post-impressionism.

The present National Gallery building is the third one to house the collection. The first was a small often overcrowded Angerstein's former townhouse on No. 100 Pall Mall. The gallery moved to No. 105 Pall Mall for a short time in 1834. In 1832 construction began on a new building by William Wilkins on the site of the King's Mews in Charing Cross, later transformed to Trafalgar Square. Nowadays, the façade is the only part that has remained from the original building. The structure of the building has been altered and expanded several times. From the earlier architects dealing with it is worthy to mentioned Pennethorne, Barry and Taylor, from the latest ones Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown who built Sainsbury Wing in 1991 to house the collection of Renaissance paintings. Today, the museum building has the area of 46,396 square metres.

Most of the collection has priceless value. To the most famous paintings belong for example Sandro Botticelli – Venus and Mars, Leonardo da Vinci – The Virgin of the Rocks, Michelangelo – The Entombment, Raphael – The Madonna of the Pinks, Titan – Bacchus and Ariadne, Peter Paul Rubens – Le Chapeau de Paille, Rembrandt – Belshazzar’s Feast, Claude Monet – The Thames Below Westminster, Pierre-Auguste Renoir – The Umbrellas, Vincent was Gogh – The Sunflowers and many others.

The collection in National Gallery belongs to the British people and there is no admission. However, some special exhibitions can be paid.
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