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The National and National Portrait Gallery Westminster Walk - self-guided sightseeing walking tour

sixth attraction visitThe National and
National Portrait Galleries

The National and National Portrait Galleries in Trafalgar Square London contain some of the greatest collections of paintings in the world. Free to entre, you can view masterpieces from Cézanne Constable and Canaletto to Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt and many more.

The National Gallery is open dailymasterpieces artworks

The National Gallery

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square was built in 1838 to house the growing national collection of Art and to be a venue comparable with other national art galleries, such as the Louvre in Paris.

Displaying Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th century The National Gallery was built with the aim of showing them freely to people of all social classes. The pictures, most of which used to belong to private collectors, have been either bought or gifted to the collection.

The National Gallery has free and paid exhibitionsenglish civil war

Originally the building’s design was criticised. It was only one room deep and very cramped. King William IV called it “a nasty pokey little hole”. Since then there have been many alterations and additions with large architectural spaces arranged on a Greek-Cross plan.

Modernised over the years, the building's façade onto Trafalgar Square, the Victorian interior decoration and other classical details remain unchanged.

The collection of over 2000 paintings contains some of the world’s greatest works of art, including Vermeer’s “A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal”, “The Arnolfini Portrait” by Jan van Eyck, and Turner’s “The Fighting Temeraire” as well as masterpieces by Titian, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Constable ,and van Gogh.

The National Portrait Gallery is on St Martin's Place. trafalgar square people art

National Portrait Gallery

Closed until Spring 2023

From the middle of the 19th century the National Portrait Gallery, position next to the National Gallery, has gathered a collection of over 1100 portraits of famous historic and contemporary figures.

The portraits are chosen because of the public interest in the sitter rather than the quality of the work. From early Tudor monarchs such as Elizabeth I and Henry VIII, to statesmen and people of high and popular culture in the present day including footballers, playwrights, pop stars and opera singers.

The National Portrait Gallery is closed for closed until spring 2023

There are also portraits by famous artists including Gainsborough, Holbein and Hockney, and different kinds of representation such as sculpture, photography and video.

In January 2012, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge became an official patron of the National Portrait Gallery.

Visitor Infomation

The National and National Portrait Galleries are in Trafalgar Square and St Martin's Place.

Further information:

The National Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery