The National Gallery is an art museum, located in Trafalgar Square, Central London. The museum was founded in 1924 and houses over 2,300 paintings from late medieval masters to the French Impressionists. This is a wonderful place to go to take some time out.
History of The National Gallery
The National Gallery art museum first came into existence when the British government purchased 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein. Mr Angerstein was an insurance broker and patron of the arts, in 1824. Private donations make up two-thirds of the museum’s collection. The Gallery was shaped mainly by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake. Compared with many European National Galleries the London museums collection is small in size, but encyclopaedic in scope. Most major developments in Western painting are represented with important works.
The Present Building
Designed by William Wilkins from 1832 to 1838, the present building is the third to house the National Gallery. The building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history with only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remaining essentially unchanged from this time. Wilkins’s building was often criticised for the perceived weaknesses of its design and for its lack of space. The lack of space eventually led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897.
The National Gallery Collection
The National Gallery’s collection belongs to the UK public and entry to the main collection is free of charge. The National Gallery is one of the most visited art museums in the world, after the Musée du Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Admission Prices and Offers
It is free to enter The National Gallery, but donations are welcome. They offer regular events throughout the year, many of which are free to attend.
Travelling to The National Gallery
The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square in Central London. There are a variety of ways to get to the museum but Public Transport is recommended.
Travelling by Train or Tube
The nearest train stations to The National Gallery are Charing Cross (National Rail, Northern, and Bakerloo lines) and Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines).
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Travelling by Coach
There are a large number of bus services which stop in the vicinity of Trafalgar Square. Visit National Express if you want to travel by coach to London.
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