National Gallery

National Gallery information

Location
London , England
Address
Trafalgar Sq
WC2
Getting there
Tube: Charing Cross
More information
www.nationalgallery.org.uk
Opening hours
10am-6pm Sat-Thu, to 9pm Fri
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With some 2300 European paintings on display, this is one of the world's richest art collections, with seminal paintings from every important epoch in the history of art – from the mid-13th to the early 20th century, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Van Gogh and Renoir.

Many visitors flock to the East Wing (1700–1900), where works by 18th-century British artists such as Gainsborough, Constable and Turner, and seminal Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces by Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet await.

Don't overlook the astonishing floor mosaics in the main vestibule inside the entrance to the National Gallery.

The modern Sainsbury Wing on the gallery’s western side houses paintings from 1250 to 1500. Here you will find largely religious paintings commissioned for private devotion (eg the Wilton Diptych ) as well more unusual masterpieces such as Botticelli’s Venus & Mars and Van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait . Leonardo Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks , in room 57, is a stunning masterpiece.

Works from the High Renaissance (1500–1600) embellish the West Wing where Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, Correggio, El Greco and Bronzino hold court; Rubens, Rembrandt and Caravaggio grace the North Wing (1600–1700). Notable are two self-portraits of Rembrandt (age 34 and 63) and the beautiful Rokeby Venus by Velázquez.

The comprehensive audio guides (£4) are highly recommended, as are the free one-hour taster tours that leave from the information desk in the Sainsbury Wing daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm, and at 7pm Friday. There are also special trails and activity sheets for children.

The National Dining Rooms provides high-quality British food, an all-day bakery and splendid afternoon teas.