THE NATIONAL GALLERY
The National Gallery, London displays the British national collections of paintings in the Western European tradition from between the 13th to 19th centuries. The origins of the gallery rest with banker and collector John Julius Angerstein, who provided the first paintings for the price of £57,000. Landscape painter and art collector Sir George Beaumont gave the gallery a further boost when he offered his collection to the government on an altruistic condition: suitable arrangements be made for display and conservation.
Today, the National Gallery features more than 1000 paintings, housed in the gallery’s Trafalgar Square building completed in 1838. The collection had remained there ever since, with the sole exception being the World War II when the collection was moved to Wales for safekeeping.
Visitors admiring the pieces at the National Gallery should not be intimidated by the sheer size of the collection, however. While there is an audioguide tour that provides detailed insights into 80 prominent pieces in the collection, there are also shorter options for travellers without much time. This includes the 10 minutes talks on the collection as well as a 60-minute tour of the entire collection, along with other ideas here. There are also themed tours, including
“Renaissance Masterpieces”, “Impressionism and Beyond”, and “Life of Christ.”
The best thing about visiting the National Gallery? Except for special exhibitions in the Sainsbury wing, it is free!
Visitors can reach National Gallery at the Charing Cross station via the Underground by taking the Northern and Bakerloo lines.