The National Gallery houses the nation’s collection of Western European painting from the 13th to the early 20th centuries. Located in Trafalgar Square in central London, the National Gallery is open to the public 361 days a year, free of charge.
The collection represents the greatest Western European painters including Van Eyck, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Turner, Rembrandt, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Rubens, Velázquez, Van Dyck, Titian and Bellini. No other collection possesses such consistent quality, nor better tells the story of Western European painting. Almost all of the 2,300 paintings in the National Gallery’s collection are on permanent display.
The Gallery started life in 1824 when the British Government purchased 38 pictures belonging to the banker John Julius Angerstein. As there was no suitable space available to display the collection, the pictures were put on display in Angerstein's former home in Pall Mall. It was only in 1838 that the collection moved to its current site in Trafalgar Square.