The National Gallery, London started life in 1824 when the British Government purchased the collection of 38 pictures belonging to the wealthy banker John Julius Angerstein. As there was no suitable space available to display the collection, the pictures were put on display in Angerstein's former home in Pall Mall. It was only in 1838 that the collection moved to its current site in Trafalgar Square.
The building and collection have continued to expand ever since and today the National Gallery houses one of the world's greatest collections of Western European paintings.
The National Gallery Collection contains over 2,300 works, including many famous works, such as van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
All major traditions of Western European painting are represented from the artists of late medieval and Renaissance Italy to the French Impressionists.
- 13th- to 15th-century paintings: Duccio, Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, Dürer, Memling, Bellini
- 16th-century paintings: Leonardo, Cranach, Michelangelo, Raphael, Holbein, Bruegel, Bronzino, Titian, Veronese
- 17th-century paintings: Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Claude, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Vermeer
- 18th- to early 20th-century paintings: Canaletto, Goya, Turner, Constable, Ingres, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh