National Gallery

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New in! 📚 Be the first to receive our upcoming catalogue, 'Picasso Ingres: Face to Face', which accompanies our exhibition opening in June. Pre-order Every purchase supports the National Gallery.W
If you guessed Frans Hals 'Portrait of a Woman' you're correct! 🎉 Likely to have been from a pair of marriage portraits, the sitter is thought to be Maria Larp, a lady living in Haarlem around the time the portrait was…tI
We hope you enjoyed learning about Leonardo Da Vinci’s ’The Burlington House Cartoon’. See it in person in Room 66:…
However, the drawing shows no evidence of having been transferred, which suggests that no painting was made from this design. While the exact purpose of this drawing is unknown, it is also possible that it was intended as a work of art in its own right.
A large drawing like this was usually made in preparation for a painting. When finished, the design would have been transferred onto the panel or canvas by pricking holes in the outlines and dusting over them with charcoal. 🖌️O
Around the eyes, this blurring produces a mysterious effect that intensifies the gazes of the figures. Leonardo believed that the thoughts, ‘moti mentali’, (‘motions of the mind‘) of painted figures, should be visible on their faces.
To avoid harsh lines Leonardo blurred the contours of the forms, and the resulting smoky effect is called ‘sfumato.’ He also used this effect in his paintings too, for example ‘The Virgin of the Rocks‘.
Parts of the drawing are densely shaded and contrasted with lighter areas to give a three-dimensional effect, known as ‘chiaroscuro’. This can be seen in sections of the Virgin’s sleeve and the folds of fabric which cover Saint Anne’s knees.
Parts of the drawing are highly finished while other areas, (like Anne’s pointing hand), were simply left as outlines. This demonstrates that Leonardo worked by creating rough outlines of parts of the body and gradually building them up into more rounded shapes.
Christ’s cousin, Saint John the Baptist, leans against Anne’s lap as the baby Christ Child holds his hand under his chin. The Christ Child holds his other arm up to the sky, echoing the hand of Anne behind him.
The drawing depicts the Virgin Mary sitting on her mother’s lap, gazing down at the wriggling Christ Child. Her mother, Saint Anne, looks intently at her through deep-set eyes and points upwards to the heavens, indicating the child’s divinity.
It was close, but looks like we have our winner! Let’s take a closer look at ‘The Burlington Cartoon’.🔍 This is the only surviving large-scale drawing by Leonardo, and it may be the only record we have of a now-lost painting.w
Can you guess the #BiggerPicture This sitter might have the brightest cheeks in the Gallery! Can you guess who they belong to? We'll give you a clue: she can be seen with our Dutch portraits...
Looking for something special to do after you've visited us? 💅 You can now enjoy sandwiches, scones and sweet treats with an afternoon tea at our new restaurant, Ochre. Find out more and book,
We'll announce the winner later today🎉
We’re back with the #PaintingPoll, and this week we’re marking the death of the great Renaissance master, Leonardo Da Vinci. We’re putting two of Da Vinci’s most revered works from our collection head-to-head. Which of his masterpieces will it be? Vote in the poll below! ⬇️
On a hazy summer's day, men relax on the banks of a river ☀️ Join Dr Christina Bradstreet as she explores the theme of loneliness in Seurat’s ‘Bathers at Asnières’, ahead of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek: Supported by @BloombergDotOrg
Our new light blue tote bag takes inspiration from Raphael's 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria' but with a modern twist. It's a great go-everywhere tote bag and a nod to our 'Raphael' exhibition. Shop here:
Looking to feel inspired? 🙋 With help from digital artist@RealRobinLeee, our 'Raphael iPad drawing workshop' will show you how to digitally create your own textured paper and drawing tools to produce drawings inspired by Raphael. Find out
Our #HumpDay mood in Room 58 😴 This depiction of 'Venus and Mars' by Botticelli shows the god of war, Mars, so utterly lost in sleep he doesn‘t even notice the chubby satyr blowing a conch shell in his ear!
Visit Room 30 and you'll find our collection of Spanish paintings. In the 17th Century, Spain was in its 'golden age' of art and literature and Velázquez, Murillo, and Zurbarán are just a few of the great artists from this time that are on display here:
🌻 ''The sunflower is mine'', Van Gogh once declared. I could also be yours on this t-shirt, featuring embroidered details of his 'Sunflowers' masterpiece! Buy online
Pencils at the ready?✍️ Join us for 'Talk and draw', our regular live-drawing event. This month we are celebrating Creativity and Wellbeing week by exploring one of our collection highlights, 'The Beach at Trouville' by Monet. Book your free slot here:
It's #WorldLaughterDay! Let's take a closer look at this cheeky chap, Frans van Mieris the Elder. This tiny self portrait was painted three days before the artist turned 39 in 1674:
Who else is enjoying the #MetGala2022? ✨ Our submission for the #GildedGlamour theme is Gustav Klimt's 'Portrait of Hermine Gallia'. This shimmering gown made of translucent white chiffon, features sinuous lines recalling Art Nouveau and Japanese prints:
Leonardo died #OnThisDay in 1519. He was a genius who created some of the most famous paintings in European art. From prints and accessories to books, you can explore the complexity of his creativity in our gift range:
Our Friday Lates are back this week! The Gallery is open until 9pm and you can enjoy some special events including a #BSL talk on Turner's 'The Fighting Temeraire' and Ali Cherri, our artist in residence, will be exploring themes from his practice:
Have you seen our ✨ award-winning ✨ virtual exhibition yet? 'The Director's Choice' gives you the opportunity to take a stroll through the Gallery without leaving your living room! Launch the experience here:
We hope you're enjoying your #BankHoliday Monday ☀️ Which of these delightful gardens from our collection would you like to spend your afternoon in? 1) Henri-Joseph Harpignies 2) Edouard Vuillard 3) Nicolas Lancret 4) Adolph Menzel
Looking for something to entertain the kids while you're at the Gallery? Explore our new immersive experience. 'The Keeper of Paintings' encourages children to explore one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world:
The great Leonardo Da Vinci died #OnThisDay in 1519. His breath-taking piece, ‘The Burlington House Cartoon’, is the only surviving large-scale drawing by the artist, and may be the only record we have of a now-lost painting. Find it in Room 66:
Just in time! ⌚ From tigers to bees, our new watches feature a range of different faces symbolising power, wisdom and more. Shop your favourite here:
Join us in the Gallery for our #BSL talk, 'Turner's 'The Fighting Temeraire'. Deaf lecturer John Wilson will be examining the painting Turner referred to as 'his darling' and why it remains one Britain's most popular paintings. Part of #DeafAwarenessWeek:
Happy May Day! 💐 Pissarro's picturesque 'Late Afternoon in our Meadow' is set in Eragny, a village to the north of Paris, where he settled with his family. Look closely and you'll spot influences of pointillist George Seurat, who the artist met in
Meet Mr and Mrs Coltman in Room 34 💍 This famous pair are portrayed here by Joseph Wright 'of Derby', a year or so after their marriage in 1789. But#DidYouKnoww they can also be seen in Wright’s great painting 'An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump'?
Love all things Raphael? 🙋 Join us online for a three-week course alongside art historian Siân Walters, exploring the artist’s short but glittering 20-year career. Book your ticket
Sit back and relax! 😎 Perfect for sunny days, these deck chairs feature details from paintings in our collection. They are handmade in the UK from sustainably sourced
Before the month is up join us for a leisurely stroll through Pissarro's 'The Avenue, Sydenham', our April #PictureOfTheMonth Using this newfound home as inspiration, Pissarro set about capturing the first signs of spring:
Reacquaint yourself with Hogarth 🎨 This is the second in Hogarth’s series of six paintings titled 'Marriage A-la-Mode', which satirise the upper classes. Following the wedding, the bride and groom are shown exhausted from their indulgent
Rediscover Monet's monumental painting in next Tuesday's lunchtime talk. We will explore the painting’s unique history in relation to peace in Monet’s time and ours, focusing especially on wellbeing during #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek:
No plans for tonight? Why not join us for our regular Friday Late event! The Gallery will be open till 9pm and we have a schedule full of activities and talks to keep you entertained throughout the evening:
Are you visiting the Gallery with your family over the #BankHoliday weekend? Our free 'Keeper of Paintings' app will keep the kids entertained throughout their visit as they step into a hidden world of art and magic while learning about our collection:
Our 'Director's Choice' virtual exhibition has won at @TheWebbyAwards! Listen in as our Director gives you his personal take on 20 works in the collection, from Giotto to Monet and Caravaggio to Turner. Launch the experience here:
Sign up for emails and be the first to hear about the latest news from the Gallery, including updates on products and exhibitions, plus occasional offers: 🎁 As a welcome gift, you’ll receive 10% off your next online shop order.* *T&Cs apply.8
Happy #InternationalDanceDay 🩰 In Jean-Baptiste Pater's 'Fête Galante', 28 figures are in a park making music, dancing & courting. Pater was taught by the influential French painter Watteau and created large numbers of these scenes inspired by his
Our new restaurant, Ochre, celebrates the best of seasonal British produce with a modern European twist, serving a tempting menu from brunch through to afternoon tea, dinner and drinks at the cocktail bar. Book your table now:
To mark the opening of ‘The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael’, we are proud to introduce this custom notebook, created in partnership with @moleskine. Taking inspiration from ‘Saint Catherine of Alexandria’, it has been designed with a modern twist:
If you guessed 'Mr and Mrs Andrews' by Thomas Gainsborough, you're correct! 👏 The unpainted patch on Mrs Andrews’s lap is thought to have been reserved to later paint a…Bt
Can you guess the #BiggerPicture? Not all the paintings in our collection reached completion, this week we take a closer look at an unfinished detail from one of the highlights in our collection. What do you think this mysterious spot was being saved for?
We hope you enjoyed learning more about ‘The Mill’ by Claude. Discover his breath-taking work alongside the work of Turner in Room 36:…
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