Trafalgar Square, WC2
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
This Gallery is situated in the heart of London, on the north side of Trafalgar Square. |
The present building was built in 1832 in the neo-classical style, giving the whole gallery a rather imposing air. Inside the austere atmosphere is heightened by vast amounts of marble, leather and wood. But don't let this put you off - the gallery has a reputation as one of the best art galleries in the country, if not the world.
The National Gallery houses the National Collection of Paintings with the main focus being on western European art from the thirteenth century to 1900. This collection started off in 1824 with just 38 pieces, but now it holds more than 2,000 paintings.
The Sainsbury Wing opened in 1991 and currently houses an excellent collection of Renaissance pieces, which are the highlight of the gallery. Some well-known artists that are represented at the National Gallery include Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya and da Vinci.
There is also a good collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings with works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne and Van Gogh, among others.
There are guided tours available, or a soundtrack on CD that you can take around with you. There is also a superb computer information centre, located in the Micro Gallery in the Sainsbury Wing, which allows you to design a personalised tour map. You select the pictures you want to see and the computer prints out a map for you to follow.
The National Gallery is open daily, but times vary so check in advance. Entry is free. There is a restaurant available for refreshments.
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