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Long Profile of The National Gallery in London


National Gallery London

The National Gallery is seen to the left of fountains in Trafalgar Square on October 28, 2010 in London, England.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


The National Gallery was founded in 1824 in London.

The museum has a collection of over 2,300 Western paintings that range in age from the mid-13th century to the 1900s and is a comprehensive representation of the traditions of European painting.


The National Gallery was founded in 1824. It originated with art collector John Julius Angerstein whose collection of Italian, Dutch, English and Flemish paintings were the basis of the museum. In addition, landscape painter Sir George Beaumont (1753 – 1827) bequeathed his entire art collection.

Both of the collectors' paintings were displayed together in Pall Mall and then the entire collection was relocated to its present location at Trafalgar Square in 1838.

Over the years, the museum has acquired paintings making their collection one of the most comprehensive and prestigious one in the world.


"The National Gallery is committed to the widest possible access to the national collection of Western European painting from c.1250 - c.1900, which it houses, conserves and displays. The paintings are held for everyone regardless of education, income, residence, or personal circumstances."

"The Gallery's aim is to make physical access to the collection as easy as possible for all; to enable everyone as far as possible to have access to scholarship and information about the collection; and to allow everyone to enjoy and study the collection in as many ways as possible."


The National Gallery is located on Trafalgar Square, London. It is easy to access via bus, subway and taxi. It is one of the most popular sites in London for tourists.

Museum's Conservation Department:

The Museum's Conservation Department regularly checks the condition of the paintings. They monitor the humidity, light, and temperature of the display and storage areas. Painting restoration is carefully controlled.

The Scientific Department works on the preventive conservation of the paintings in the collection. Using microscopes, X-rays and infrared reflectography, helps the scientists to chemically analyze the paint and pigment compositions.

The Museum publishes an annual National Gallery Technical Bulletin which includes the latest research by their curators, scientists and conservators.

Famed Artworks in Collection:

The National Gallery is home to several world-renowned paintings such as Turner’s "Fighting Temeraire," van Eyck’s "Arnolfini Portrait," Velázquez’s "Rokeby Venus," and Van Gogh’s "Sunflowers."

The collection spans the diverse traditions of Western European painting. The works of well-known artists from the late medieval period, from Renaissance Italy to French Impressionism are included here.

Paintings from the 13th- to the 15th-century paintings include works by Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, and Dürer.

16th-century paintings by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Holbein, Bruegel, and Titian are included.

17th-century paintings by Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer are on display.

Representing the 18th- to early 20th-century are works by Goya, Turner, Constable, Cézanne, Monet, Ingres, Degas, and Van Gogh.

Noteworthy Facts:

On view is a 17th century perspective box by Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678). The viewer can peer through the peepholes to see the 3D interior of a Dutch house.

Employment Information:

Job listings at the National Gallery change regularly, so be sure to check their website listings periodically.

According to their website: "the Gallery has about 600 employees ranging from security staff, curators and art handlers to conservators and finance staff, and from fund raisers and front of house staff to education, exhibition and design experts. All staff are based in central London. Depending on the work they do, some are located in the Gallery itself on the north side of Trafalgar Square. Others are in refurbished open-plan offices behind the Gallery's Sainsbury Wing."

How to Apply for a Job:

Museum's Contact Info:

Visitor information:

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN, Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Email: information@ng-london.org.uk

The National Gallery website

Museum Hours:

Daily 10am – 6pm; Friday 10am – 9pm

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