With over 4 million annual visitor turnouts, the National Gallery is a major art gallery in London and one of the most visited attractions of the world. Located at the Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery has come to symbolize the country’s keenness in preserving works of art for future generations and in making them accessible to the public. It has always been the finest of all art galleries in the city and is included as a must-see place in every London walking tours schedule. Below are some interesting facts about the National Gallery in London.
The National Gallery was established in 1824 in view of the British governments’ interest in acquiring artworks. It was first housed in the No. 100 Pall Mall, which was formerly the townhouse of John Julius Angerstein. The construction of the gallery began in 1832 and it took six years for completing the works. The art gallery finally opened to the public in 1838, and today, it features a distinctive architecture that makes it a truly unique yet one of the mostly visited galleries in the world.
Unlike other major galleries in Europe and other continents, the National Gallery is renowned not for its abundant collections but for its selection of the best works from eminent artists of the time. The works of notable painters such as Giotto and Cezanne are exhibited in the National Gallery along with the creations of masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, etc. Besides, it also features numerous works of sculpture such as the mosaics created by Boris Anrep situated at the vestibule of the main hall.
The most distinctive feature of the National Gallery is that there is no entry fee for visitors. Ever since it was opened, the gallery is free for anyone to enjoy the artworks. In this way, the National Gallery differs from most other galleries in the world by making available works of art to the public.
Admission to the gallery is free of charge and functions by relying on donations, grants, and investments. It is open to students and researchers for accessing its wealth of resources concerning art and history for their studies and projects. In fact, there is no other museum that in the world that has made such sincere commitment in promoting art among the public than the National Gallery.