Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

Finding Meaning at The National Gallery

2008 inside the National Portrait Gallery, London

Finding Meaning at The National Gallery

The National Gallery is an art museum in London, which was founded in 1824. Its collection includes over 2,300 paintings dating from the 13th century to the 20th century. It is one of the most visited art museums in the world, and its main building facade facing Trafalgar Square has not changed for two-hundred years.

The National Gallery presents the story of European art, one masterpiece at a time over a period of seven centuries of art history. Its collection representations of all the major art movements during this period. This book uses the Masterpieces of the National Gallery to tell the story of Western European painting.

The Organisation of the National Gallery Collection

The National Gallery’s rooms are organised by time periods, and our book is similarly organised into separate parts to reflect the different centuries covered by the of the National Gallery. This book is organised into parts for the different centuries.  Each century features the following artists.

  • 13th Centaury Paintings
    • Margarito d’Arezzo, Master of the Clarisse, Master of Saint Francis
  • 14th Centaury Paintings
    • Duccio, Unknown Masters
  • 15th Centaury Paintings
    • Jan van Eyck, Paolo Uccello, Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Bellini
  • 16th Centaury Paintings
    • Sebastiano del Piombo, Andrea Previtali, Titian, Hans Holbein the Younger
  • 17th Centaury Paintings
    • Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Johannes Vermeer
  • 18th Centaury Paintings
    • Thomas Gainsborough,  Joseph Wright of Derby, Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun
  • 19th Centaury Paintings
    • Horace Vernet, J. M. W. Turner, John Constable, Frederic Leighton, Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro
  • 20th Centaury Paintings
    • Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustav Klimt, George Bellows

For more insights, see our book "MASTERPIECES of the NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON."

MASTERPIECES of the NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON covers the essential Masterpieces of the National Gallery to tell the story of Western European painting.

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The NATIONAL GALLERY of LONDON'S collection is representative of the major Art Movements over a period of seven centuries. This book guides readers to the essential Masterpieces of the National Gallery.

The National Gallery, London

  • Officially:    The National Gallery, London
  • Host City:    London, England
  • Established:  1824
  • Visitors:        Over 5 million annually
  • Address:       Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” 
 – Edgar Degas


Photo Credit: By Herry Lawford from London, UK (National Portrait Gallery) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons