World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 1.1 (204 votes)

National Gallery, London

Listed under Art Collections in London, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of National Gallery, London
  • Photo of National Gallery, London
  • Photo of National Gallery, London
  • Photo of National Gallery, London
Photo of National Gallery, London
Photo by flickr user Gaspa
Pin It

Some paintings are so familiar, used in pop art or advertising or on postcards, that people may think that there’s no need to make the effort to see the real thing. But they’re just plain wrong. Knowing what a painting looks like isn’t the same thing as having stood in front of a painting.

The National Gallery in London is home to a number of these familiar paintings, familiar all over the UK and the world. Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, George Seurat’s ‘Bathers at Asnieres’, Velazquez’s creamy ‘Rokeby Venus’, and Botticelli’s ‘Venus and Mars’, and here against the dark red or green walls and shining wood floors they glow with light and depth and colour in a way they just don’t seem to be able to replicate on a postcard yet.

The old adage of ‘I don’t know a lot about art but I know what I like’ can be a bit overwhelming here. I like the Impressionists with their soft, muted colours and Turner with his churning seas and all the flesh pinks of the religious and portrait galleries. And I like the faces, caught in timeless expressions from all the way along the scale of human experience, and the abstract works, well some of them anyway. That’s the thing with a gallery like this one – because it’s free you can easily find yourself popping in to have a look around and each time you’ll find something new to stand in front of in awe.

If you’re planning a grand tour you can be just as floored by a single painting so you’ll have to plan your route or else accept that you’re a bit of a leaf in the wind at the mercy of your taste and the gallery layout. Some galleries are busier than others and people still seem to be drawn to the paintings they recognise, but there are lots of quiet corners where you can be alone with your finds.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I like its content, have a lot of masterpieces of art

National Gallery

The National Gallery houses one of the world's most important collections of Western European painting. Dutch and Italian Renaissance collections form two major highlights but the scope is huge and there are masterpieces from every major school of art, from the Early Renaissance to the Post-Impressionists.

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
Question
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?
 

Who's been here

Similar Experiences

  • Louvre Museum

    The Louvre Museum, with its spectacular glass pyramid, is an icon of Paris and one of the world's most-visited cultural sites. …

  • Hermitage Museum

    The Gosudarstvennyj Èrmitaž or Hermitage Museum, that vast collection of Russian and human art and artefacts, has swollen to fi…

  • British Museum

    Incredible world class collection of Chinese, Asian, Aztec and Classical art, with Egyptian Mummies, the Rosetta Stone and the …

Nearby Experiences

  • Large Bathers (Cézanne)

    'Grandes Baigneuses (The Large Bathers) is one of three versions painted by the French artist Paul Cézanne between 1898 and 190…

  • Trafalgar Square

    Pigeons cover all its exposed surfaces but they can’t deface this square’s historic importance or the grandeur of its presence.…

  • The National Portrait Gallery

    This gallery holds around 10,000 items of British portraiture dating from as early as 1505. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, e…

Related links

Contribute to this page