Planning on visiting the National Gallery in London? If the answer is yes, you are certainly in for a treat, but to make your experience even better, you might want to learn more about it. What follows is a brief introduction into the gallery, including not only its history, but opening hours and exhibitions as well.
The National Gallery, which can now be found at Trafalgar Square, was first opened to the public at a completely different location. This happened in 1824 when the House of Commons decided to buy a private art collection and allow the public to see all 38 pieces. The previous owner was John Julius Angerstein, and the paintings were first displayed at his house in Pall Mall Street. This all worked out fine, until the press started making jokes about the “gallery”, comparing its size with that of the enormous Louvre. That is why the Parliament decided to build a whole new gallery and move the collection to Trafalgar Square. The construction was completed and the gallery opened in 1838.
The National Gallery is open daily from 10AM to 6PM. On Fridays you will be able to enjoy walking around until 9PM. The only time when it is closed is New Year’s and from 24th to 26th December. There is no entrance fee, which means literally anyone can visit and enjoy browsing the collection. And the collection itself is huge.
Within the walls of the National Gallery you will find over 2,300 different works of art. This includes paintings from four different time periods: 13th to 15th century, 16th century, 17th century and 18th to early 20th century. Some of the artists that have their works displayed there are van Eyck, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Cezanne and Van Gogh.
And if you are visiting to see that one painting that is very special to you, check the Gallery’s website to see if they have it. If it is Rokeby Venus from Velazquez or Sunflowers from Van Gogh, there is no need to do that, since we can tell you it is there and you need not look any further!