London is home to a national art gallery that is well worth a visit. Located in the centre of Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery used to have just a few works of art, but today this artistic panorama includes almost 2,300 paintings, some of which date back to the 12th century, while others are much more recent. This is why it is considered one of the finest museums in the world.
London National Gallery: The Birth
Most European countries established museums and galleries as a way of nationalising art collections that belonged to princely or royal families. Unlike them, the United Kingdom was never motivated to collect national artworks in a museum for public display until 1824. Indeed, that year was marked by the government’s purchase of 36 paintings from banker Angerstein.
In 1826, Sir George Beaumont’s art work was added to the list and in 1832 the gallery was moved to the Royal Stables in Charing Cross, later known as Trafalgar Square (the ‘heart’ of London). In 1850 there was a request to move the National Gallery to another location but the proposal was refused. Since then, it has remained in Trafalgar Square.
Visit the London National Gallery
There is no set admission price to visit the National Gallery. It is a good idea to split your visit into several visits. This gives you the peace and quiet and time to admire all the art inside.
If you are more interested in certain art-historical periods than others, you can restrict your visit to the works included, in the rooms of the galleries reserved for them. The London National Gallery is divided into four groups of rooms according to historical periods. In the blue zone, you will find works dating between 1250 and 1500. Paintings completed between 1500 and 1600 are located in the Viola area. The yellow zone contains works completed between 1600 and 1700. The green zone contains all the works from 1700 to the beginning of the 20th century, including the artistic works of the Impressionists (Cézanne, Monet and Van Gogh).
What are the main artistic works on display?
By way of illustration, Van Gogh’s famous work “The Sunflowers” is among the productions in Room 45 of the Green Space. It is particularly attractive to visitors in this space. Room 38 contains Canaletto’s collection, including “Cortille dello Scalpellino”, which is his best personal work.
In the Yellow Room, room 32, some of the most famous works of Caravaggio and other contemporary painters are illustrated. Take the opportunity to view some of Botticelli’s outstanding paintings, such as “Venus and Mars” (1485). In room 8 of the Viola area, paintings by Titian and Michelangelo are waiting for you! Finally, you can also enjoy the extraordinary works entitled La valiosa Temérairé (William Turner), Il sogno del cavaliere (Raphael), La Vergine delle Rocce (Leonardo) and Ragazzo bitten by a lizard (Caravaggio).