"National Gallery" The National Gallery Tip by unexplored

The National Gallery, London: 132 reviews and 183 photos

The National Gallery itself was begun in 1824 when the government decided that London needed a national art collection to compete with famous European galleries. It just happened that the Pall Mall house of John Julius Angerstein was for sale at the time, along with his collection of 38 paintings, including works by Raphael, Rembrandt and Van Dyke. These were purchased for £57,000 and Angerstein's house was used as the first gallery until the present building was completed in 1838. In the meantime, a number of important pictures were added to the collection through gifts and bequests, but many of the most famous works were aquired by shrewd gallery directors scouring Europe for masterpieces that could be bought cheaply because the artists were temporarily 'out of fashion'. Because space was limited, the directors pursued a policy of quality rather than quantity. The result is one of the world's richest art collections, covering most schools and periods of painting up to the 20th century(the national collection of modern art, along with British works of all periods is now housed in the Tate Gallery).

Address: Trafalgar Square, WC2
Directions: Nearest Tube, Charing Cross. Near Duncannon St.
Phone: +44 20 7747 2885
Website: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 18, 2003
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