National Gallery@national_gallery

Journey through the National Gallery, London. Stop, look, & share with us #nationalgallery. Book your exhibition tickets online and save:

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Leiden in the Netherlands #OnThisDay in 1606.
Did you know that Rembrandt painted more self portraits than any other 17th century artist? He painted this self portrait at the height of his career aged 34, presenting himself in a self-assured pose wearing an elaborate costume in the fashion of the 16th century.
It seems as if Rembrandt refers deliberately to his famous predecessors in this portrait, and thus places himself in the tradition of great 'Old Masters'. The word 'conterfeycel' (more properly conterfeytsel) is an archaic Dutch term for portrait.

Detail from Rembrandt, 'Self Portrait at the Age of 34', 1640 ©️ The National Gallery, London.

#nationalgallery #selfportrait #rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting


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'Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire' is now open in Room 1, displaying a series of works by Ruscha which span two decades.

Ed Ruscha painted five black and white canvases of 'Blue Collar' in 1992, two of which can be seen here. More than a decade later, beginning in 2003 he painted five more in colour, exhibiting all ten under the title 'Course of Empire' in the United States Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The paintings look up at the tops of box-like industrial buildings in Los Angeles, where Ruscha lives. In the first series, the functions of buildings are clear. Each painting in the colour series say Ruscha, is "an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape". Each revisits the site of the first series, but now functions are ambiguous. Tool & Die, for example, now appears to be a Korean concern. The lot of the American blue-collar worker is changing.
Come and see these ten monumental paintings by one of America's greatest landscapes in Room 1, until 7 October.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Maria Conroy.

#edruscha #nationalgallery #instamuseum #venicebiennale #courseofempire


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'Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire' is now open in Room 1, displaying a series of works by Ruscha which span two decades.

Ed Ruscha painted five black and white canvases of 'Blue Collar' in 1992, two of which can be seen here. More than a decade later, beginning in 2003 he painted five more in colour, exhibiting all ten under the title 'Course of Empire' in the United States Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The paintings look up at the tops of box-like industrial buildings in Los Angeles, where Ruscha lives. In the first series, the functions of buildings are clear. Each painting in the colour series say Ruscha, is "an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape". Each revisits the site of the first series, but now functions are ambiguous. The Trade School, for example, has gone out of business. The lot of the American blue-collar worker is changing.
Come and see these ten monumental paintings by one of America's greatest landscapes in Room 1, until 7 October.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Maria Conroy.

#edruscha #nationalgallery #instamuseum #venicebiennale #courseofempire


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'Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire' is now open in Room 1, displaying a series of works by Ruscha which span two decades.

Ed Ruscha painted five black and white canvases of 'Blue Collar' in 1992, two of which can be seen here. More than a decade later, beginning in 2003 he painted five more in colour, exhibiting all ten under the title 'Course of Empire' in the United States Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The paintings look up at the tops of box-like industrial buildings in Los Angeles, where Ruscha lives. In the first series, the functions of buildings are clear. Each painting in the colour series say Ruscha, is "an accelerated, aged version of the same urban landscape". Each revisits the site of the first series, but now functions are ambiguous. The Trade School, for example, has gone out of business. The lot of the American blue-collar worker is changing.
Come and see these ten monumental paintings by one of America's greatest landscapes in Room 1, until 7 October.

Photo by #nationalgallery photographer Maria Conroy.

#edruscha #nationalgallery #instamuseum #venicebiennale #courseofempire


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Tomorrow night, our Young Producers present: Force of nature, a special Late in the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm. Click the link in our bio to find out more!

At a time when both the planet and our species are closer than ever to destruction, Thomas Cole’s prediction that interfering with nature would lead to our downfall is more important than ever.

Now is the time for action. Come along to the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm to learn, discover, and be in awe of the power of our planet. Experiment with poetry and art, and protest; test your knowledge and share memories in a storytelling circle.

Events are free and will run throughout the evening with workshops from @poet_in_the_city, @galdemzine, @pintofscience, and more.

Click the link in our bio to find out more!

#nationalgallery #thomascole #nature #environment #planet #poetry #fridaylate #freeevent #freelondon #whatsonlondon #fridaynight #ngyoungproducers


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This Friday, our Young Producers present: Force of nature, a special Late in the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm. Click the link in our bio to find out more!

At a time when both the planet and our species are closer than ever to destruction, Thomas Cole’s prediction that interfering with nature would lead to our downfall is more important than ever.

Now is the time for action. Come along to the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm to learn, discover, and be in awe of the power of our planet. Experiment with poetry and art, and protest; test your knowledge and share memories in a storytelling circle.

Events are free and will run throughout the evening with workshops from @poet_in_the_city, @galdemzine, @pintofscience, and more.

Admission to ‘Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire’ is free for under-25s on the night. (Please bring ID showing date of birth to gain entry.) Click the link in our bio to find out more!

#nationalgallery #thomascole #nature #environment #planet #poetry #fridaylate #freeevent #freelondon #whatsonlondon #fridaynight #ngyoungproducers


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This Friday, our Young Producers present: Force of nature, a special Late in the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm. Click the link in our bio to find out more!

At a time when both the planet and our species are closer than ever to destruction, Thomas Cole’s prediction that interfering with nature would lead to our downfall is more important than ever.

Now is the time for action. Come along to the Gallery on 13 July from 6-9pm to learn, discover, and be in awe of the power of our planet. Experiment with poetry and art, and protest; test your knowledge and share memories in a storytelling circle.

Events are free and will run throughout the evening with workshops from @poet_in_the_city, @galdemzine, @pintofscience, and more.

Admission to ‘Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire’ is free for under-25s on the night. (Please bring ID showing date of birth to gain entry.) Click the link in our bio to find out more!

#nationalgallery #thomascole #nature #environment #planet #poetry #fridaylate #freeevent #freelondon #whatsonlondon #fridaynight #ngyoungproducers


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Jan van Eyck painted this portrait in 1432.
The words 'Léal Souvenir' (Loyal Remembrance) are painted on the parapet at the bottom of the painting as though carved into the stone. Swipe across to see these details.
They may mean that the portrait is an accurate likeness or, conceivably, that it was a posthumous, commemorative likeness. The sitter has not been identified; he is not grandly dressed and is unlikely to be an aristocrat or a cleric.
The inscription in Greek letters has been read as 'Tymotheus' (Timothy), but it seems to be a transliteration into Greek script of two words in Latin, 'tum otheos' meaning 'Then God'. What this signifies is not clear.
The reverse of the picture is painted in imitation of marble. The translation of the inscription along the bottom of the parapet reads 'Done in the year of Our Lord 1432 on the 10th day of October by Jan van Eyck'.
Detail from Jan van Eyck, 'Portrait of a Man ('Léal Souvenir')', 1432 ©️ The National Gallery, London.
#nationalgallery #janvaneyck #vaneyck #selfportrait#trafalgarsquare #london #arthistory #instamuseum


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Jan van Eyck died #OnThisDay in 1441. He is credited with originating a style of painting characterised by minutely realistic depictions of surface effects and natural light. This was made possible by using an oil medium, which allowed the building up of paint in translucent layers, or glazes.

This work is a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife by Jan van Eyck, but is not intended as a record of their wedding. His wife is not pregnant, as is often thought, but holding up her full-skirted dress in the contemporary fashion. Arnolfini was a member of a merchant family from Lucca living in Bruges. The couple are shown in a well-appointed interior.
The ornate Latin signature translates as 'Jan van Eyck was here 1434'. The similarity to modern graffiti is not accidental. Van Eyck often inscribed his pictures in a witty way. The mirror reflects two figures in the doorway. One may be the painter himself. Arnolfini raises his right hand as he faces them, perhaps as a greeting.

Van Eyck was intensely interested in the effects of light: oil paint allowed him to depict it with great subtlety in this picture, notably on the gleaming brass chandelier.

Detail from Jan van Eyck, 'The Arnolfini Portrait', 1434 ©️ The National Gallery, London.
#nationalgallery #janvaneyck #vaneyck #selfportrait #trafalgarsquare #london #arthistory #instamuseum #arnolfiniportrait #arnolfini


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Jan van Eyck died #OnThisDay in 1441. He is credited with originating a style of painting characterised by minutely realistic depictions of surface effects and natural light. This was made possible by using an oil medium, which allowed the building up of paint in translucent layers, or glazes.

Little is known of van Eyck's origins, but he probably came from Maaseik, near Maastricht, and was of the gentry class. He is first heard of in 1422 working in The Hague for John of Bavaria, ruler of Holland. From 1425 he was at Bruges and Lille as painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. In 1428 van Eyck was sent to Portugal to paint Philip the Good's future wife, Isabella of Portugal.

Van Eyck appears to have painted many religious commissions and portraits of Burgundian courtiers, local nobles, churchmen and merchants. A small group of his paintings survive with dates from 1432 onwards.
Here you can see van Eyck's 'Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?)'. The painting, so carefully inscribed, was presumably one of particular significance to the painter, and it has been suggested that it may be a self portrait. The direction of the man's gaze also suggests this.

Van Eyck uses light and shade in a subtle and dramatic way: the sitter seems to emerge from darkness, his face and headdress modelled by the light that falls from the left. The viewer is drawn towards the image by the penetrating gaze of the sitter.

Detail from Jan van Eyck, 'Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?)', 1433 ©️ The National Gallery, London.
#nationalgallery #janvaneyck #vaneyck #selfportrait #trafalgarsquare #london #arthistory #instamuseum


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Flower painting emerged as a distinct genre in the Netherlands around 1600. The rise of what became one of the most characteristic themes of Dutch art can be linked to several contemporary developments: a growing scientific interest in botany and horticulture, including the establishment of botanical gardens for academic study; and a booming international trade in exotic cultivars. In the 1630s, so-called ‘tulip mania’ saw speculative prices for the most coveted bulbs and flowering plants reach astonishing heights. Their value soon crashed, but the Dutch enchantment with flowers endured.

Jan van Huysum's 'Glass Vase with Flowers, with a Poppy and a Finch Nest' hangs on the left. Note how the light passes through the bouquet, creating an unprecedented sense of space. Along a main diagonal axis going from the lower left to the upper right, flowers show subtle distinctions of colour and texture, with variations on white and pink. Van Huysum’s love for his work is perfectly shown by the nuances of green in younger and older leaves, as well as in the clear drops of water that are painted on the leaves. The artist’s accurate depiction of each specimen ensures that even the mosses in the finch’s nest are identifiable.

On the right you can see Rachel Ruysch's 'Flowers in a Vase'. Ruysch’s compositions are characterised by strong curves, diagonal axes, and dramatic lighting: here, light falls on the flowers from bottom left to top right, leaving the closed peonies at the edge in shadow. Against the dark background, her sophisticated palette creates a flawless sense of depth and three-dimensionality.

Photo by Ellie in the #nationalgallery Social Media Team.

#flowerpainting #flowers #summer #janvanhuysum #rachelruysch #detail #arthistory #instamuseum


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In Room 17a, you can see two paintings by Osaias Beert the Elder. 'Flowers in a porcelain Wan-Li Vase' and its pendant 'Flowers in a Serpentine Vase' depict bouquets of similar size and arrangement, and were intended to be seen together. Both paintings demonstrate Beert’s extensive use of white for highlights and outlines: this is particularly visible here in the rose leaves in the foreground.

Although the red poppy, tulip, carnation and roses are brightly lit, Beert creates a sense of depth in the composition by depicting the farthest edges of his bouquet in shadow. Fallen petals and conspicuous insect damage in the leaves suggest the fleeting beauty of such arrangements and, by extension, human mortality.

The plain stone shelves in this painting and its companion piece are typical of the early 17th century, as is the porcelain Wan-Li vase, a luxury item that would have been imported to the Netherlands from China by the Dutch East India Company.

Photo by Ellie in the #nationalgallery Social Media Team.

#flowerpainting #flowers #summer #osaiasbeerttheelder #detail #arthistory #instamuseum


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