The National Gallery offers over two thousand pictures, from the earliest medieval paintings dating from late 13th century through to the impressionist paintings by Van Gogh, Degas, and Manet. The museum started as the collection of pictures once belonging to John Julius Angerstein – a Russian banker of aristocratic origin. The Collection was bought in 1824 by the British government and exhibited for the public. Rubens and Van Dyck, Velasquez and Titian, Gainsborough and Constable are complemented by the Old Masters of the Renaissance. Historical painting of the battle of San Romano will remind you how painters used to treat perspective, and the portrait of Arnolfini’s Family created by Jan Van Eyck reveals the skills of a painter who was the first to use oil paint in his work.
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