The National Gallery is an art museum situated in Trafalgar Square in Central London. Paintings from nearly all the renowned artists from 1260 -1900s are on display here, including works from Michelangelo, Rembrandt , Rubens, Van Gogh and Renoir. This prestigious display now boasts in excess of 2300 paintings.
By 1824 many European countries had art museums that were available to the public so George1V, not wanting Britain to be left behind, purchased a small art collection from John Julius Angerstein and displayed it at Pall Mall.
The present National Gallery was designed by English architect William Watkins between 1832 and 1838. It is a neoclassical building which was much criticized at the time for its aesthetic deficiencies and lack of space. A new east wing was added in 1876 and a new modern expansion planned in the mid 1980’s. However there was a great deal of opposition to the modern design, particularly from the Prince of Wales, so a more conventional building called the Salisbury Wing was built which is now the main entrance. Today the total floor space of the Gallery is 46,396 metres squared.
The location of Trafalgar Square was a significant choice as the location of the National Gallery as it provided easy access for the rich arriving in carriages from West London and also for the poor arriving on foot from the East End. The collection belongs to the people of the United Kingdom and the aim of the Gallery is to care for the collection, study it and add to it while preserving it for future generations
The general public, students and school children can all benefit from the education programmes that are available which include free lectures and tours.
Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Friday 10:00am – 9:00pm
Closed: 1 Jan and 24-26 Dec