Exploring the National
Visitors to London's National
Gallery in Trafalgar Square have the opportunity to
view one of the most extensive collections of Western European
paintings in the world. The permanent collection is free to all
visitors, and we highly recommend fitting it into your schedule
when visiting London.
About the National Gallery
Established in the early part of the 19th century, today the museum
houses more than 2,000 paintings spanning the late medieval period
to the 20th century. Notable painters with work on display include
Botticelli, Bruegel, Michelangelo, Monet, Rembrandt, Turner,
Titian, Goya and Degas.
Highlights of The National Art
This enormous collection includes some
particularly famous and beloved works. One of its most well-known
is Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers." Van Gogh painted this vibrant
masterpiece in 1888 when he was sharing a house with Gaugin in the
south of France. The heavy brushstrokes he used are still apparent
Renowned British portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough's "Mr. and Mrs. Andrews" is another local favourite.
Gainsborough was just 21 years old when he painted it in 1750, and
it is considered to be the masterwork of his early career despite
the fact that the lap of Mrs. Andrews remains unfinished. The
painting is particularly notable for its use of a broad stretch of
natural landscape, an approach Gainsborough set aside for future
The striking "Samson and Delilah" by Peter Paul Rubens imagines the
Old Testament tale in this lush depiction of the slumbering Samson,
his form rippling with muscle, sprawling across the lap of the
temptress Delilah. Another Flemish painter, Jan van Eyck, captures
a secular scene in his portrait of a wealthy Bruges merchant and
his wife, "The Arnolfini Portrait." The artist's playful sense
contrasts with the solemnity of the painting in his signature,
which translates roughly as "Jan van Eyck was here."
Leonardo da Vinci's "The Virgin of the Rocks" is part of a
selection of panels that, along with work by other artists, once
made up the San Francesco altar in Milan. An infant John the
Baptist is included in this scene of the Madonna and Christ, and
the painting is an example of the Renaissance sfumato technique.
Sfumato refers to smoke, and thus the style abandons rigid outlines
in favor of blending and gives attention to color and light.
The National Gallery is most easily reached by Tube. The Leicester
Square stop on the Northern and Piccadilly lines is the closest.
The Gallery is just a 15 minute walk from our
hotel in Bloomsbury.
The area itself is lively with both tourists and locals. Tralfalgar
Square buzzes with activity as it is one of the most visited spots
in London. It is the nexus of several main thoroughfares, including
Strand, The Mall, and Palace of Whitehall, and a number of shops,
bars and restaurants are in the immediate vicinity.
Luxury London Hotels
The Kensington Hotel
Strategically situated at Queen's Gate in leafy South
Kensington, The Kensington Hotel offers an unforgettable townhouse
experience that's authentic in every detail.
Find out more about The Kensington
The Marylebone Hotel
The Marylebone Hotel fits perfectly within the sophisticated
village of Marylebone, close to the heart of London's West End.
Find out more about The Marylebone
The Bloomsbury Hotel
The Bloomsbury Hotel offers a classic location from which to
explore the myriad of treasures of Bloomsbury, whether it's the
British Museum, the shopping haven of Oxford Street, the bustle of
Covent Garden or magnificent Georgian terraces and tree-lined
Find out more about The Bloomsbury