National Gallery@nationalgallery

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National Gallery

Here is a detail from our picture of the month, Hendrick Avercamp's 'A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle'. Here you can see people from all walks of life, going about their business, playing or chatting on the ice. The buildings, and the scattering of people across the ice, draw your eye around the painting, to the fallen skaters; the snow on the rooftops; and the reflections in the ice. Come and see the full painting in Room 27.
Avercamp invented the prominent castle in the background, but based the groups of people on watercolours that he sketched. The artist clearly delights in the details of social life; but the branches, dotted with birds, that ornament the sky, show his pleasure in pattern. Pinkish white tones appear throughout the painting, and unite the many elements of the scene.

Detail from Hendrick Avercamp, 'A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle', about 1608–9 © The National Gallery, London

#hendrickavercamp #winterscene #snowscape #town #avercamp #pictureofthemonth #painting #arthistory #history #oilpainting


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National Gallery

February's picture of the month is Hendrick Avercamp's 'A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle'. This painting is actually in an unusual circular format giving an intimacy to this townscape, showing people from all walks of life, going about their business, playing or chatting on the ice.
Learn more about the intricate details and colour palette that Avercamp has used to create this busy winter landscape.

#hendrickavercamp #winterscene #snowscape #town #avercamp #pictureofthemonth #painting #arthistory #history #oilpainting


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National Gallery

Here is a detail from our picture of the month, Hendrick Avercamp's 'A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle'. Here you can see people from all walks of life, going about their business, playing or chatting on the ice. The buildings, and the scattering of people across the ice, draw your eye around the painting, to the fallen skaters; the snow on the rooftops; and the reflections in the ice. Come and see the full painting in Room 27.
Avercamp invented the prominent castle in the background, but based the groups of people on watercolours that he sketched. The artist clearly delights in the details of social life; but the branches, dotted with birds, that ornament the sky, show his pleasure in pattern. Pinkish white tones appear throughout the painting, and unite the many elements of the scene.

Detail from Hendrick Avercamp, 'A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle', about 1608–9 © The National Gallery, London

#hendrickavercamp #winterscene #snowscape #town #avercamp #pictureofthemonth #painting #arthistory #history #oilpainting


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National Gallery

Have you seen 'Messengers', our new large-scale wall painting by #BridgetRiley in Annenberg Court yet?

Painted directly onto the wall of the Annenberg Court and spanning a vast 10 x 20 metres, the abstract work, comprised of coloured discs, carries influences from our historic collection over into the 21st century. Throughout art history, harmonies of colour have played a large part in pictorial composition.Taking as a point of departure the paintings of George Seurat, in particular Bathers at Asnières, Bridget Riley’s 'Messengers' transforms the Annenberg Court into a great white space in which coloured discs float as clouds drift in the lanes of the sky.
By leaving after-images on the viewer's retina that suggest volume and movement the longer it is perceived, the work becomes a tribute to its artistic predecessors and to the process of looking at art itself.

Here, you can see one of Bridget Riley's studio assistants working on the artwork before it was completed. © 2019 Bridget Riley. All rights reserved/Photo: The National Gallery, London

#bridgetriley #messengers #nationalgallery #artwork #freeartwork #london


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National Gallery

Have you seen 'Messengers', our new large-scale wall painting by #BridgetRiley in Annenberg Court yet?

Painted directly onto the wall of the Annenberg Court and spanning a vast 10 x 20 metres, the abstract work, comprised of coloured discs, carries influences from our historic collection over into the 21st century. Throughout art history, harmonies of colour have played a large part in pictorial composition.Taking as a point of departure the paintings of George Seurat, in particular Bathers at Asnières, Bridget Riley’s 'Messengers' transforms the Annenberg Court into a great white space in which coloured discs float as clouds drift in the lanes of the sky.
By leaving after-images on the viewer's retina that suggest volume and movement the longer it is perceived, the work becomes a tribute to its artistic predecessors and to the process of looking at art itself.

Here, you can see Bridget Riley with our director, Gabriele Finaldi, looking at the work in Annenberg Court. © 2019 Bridget Riley. All rights reserved/Photo: The National Gallery, London

#bridgetriley #messengers #nationalgallery #artwork #freeartwork #london


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National Gallery

Have you seen 'Messengers', our new large-scale wall painting by #BridgetRiley in Annenberg Court yet?

Painted directly onto the wall of the Annenberg Court and spanning a vast 10 x 20 metres, the abstract work, comprised of coloured discs, carries influences from our historic collection over into the 21st century. Throughout art history, harmonies of colour have played a large part in pictorial composition.Taking as a point of departure the paintings of George Seurat, in particular Bathers at Asnières, Bridget Riley’s 'Messengers' transforms the Annenberg Court into a great white space in which coloured discs float as clouds drift in the lanes of the sky.
By leaving after-images on the viewer's retina that suggest volume and movement the longer it is perceived, the work becomes a tribute to its artistic predecessors and to the process of looking at art itself.

Here, you can see one of Bridget Riley's studio assistants working on the artwork before it was completed. © 2019 Bridget Riley. All rights reserved/Photo: The National Gallery, London

#bridgetriley #messengers #nationalgallery #artwork #freeartwork #london


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National Gallery

Rembrandt painted this self portrait in the last year of his life and it was to be one of his last pictures as well. He died on 4 October 1669 and was buried in the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt painted more self portraits than any other artist of the 17th century. The National Gallery has two of them, separated by nearly thirty years. In this late picture, the artist wears a deep red coat and a beret, his hands clasped before him. The viewer is confronted by his steady gaze. Rembrandt painted and etched self portraits throughout his life, but those executed in his final years, in which he presents himself in a reflective mood, are among the most poignant and challenging.
The painting was cleaned in 1967, revealing the damaged signature and date. The X-ray of the picture reveals two pentimenti (alterations to the design). First, a change in the size and colour of the beret, which was originally much larger and all white. Secondly, the original position of the hands was open and he was holding a paintbrush. Repainting the hands clasped and without the brush reduces their dramatic impact and draws attention back to the face.
Photo by Ellie in the #nationalgallery Social Media Team
#selfportrait #rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting


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National Gallery

Saskia van Uylenburgh, the daughter of a burgomaster of Leeuwarden in Friesland, married Rembrandt in 1634 and brought him a large dowry. They had met in the studio of her cousin Hendrick Uylenburgh, who was Rembrandt's employer after his arrival in Amsterdam. Of their four children, only Titus was alive at the time of her death in 1642.
Rembrandt painted this portrait in the year after their wedding. In showing Saskia as Flora, the Roman goddess of Spring, he reflected the contemporary fashion for Arcadian and rustic themes, which could be found in poems and plays as well as in painting.
Detail from Rembrandt, ‘Saskia van Uylenburgh in Arcadian Costume’, 1635 © The National Gallery, London
Photo by Ellie in the #nationalgallery Social Media Team
#nationalgallery #selfportrait #rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting


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National Gallery

Come to Room 22 and you’ll find our Rembrandts! Rembrandt van Rijn aspired to be a painter of biblical and mythological subjects, which were held in higher regard than portraits. But portraiture was more profitable, and after settling in Amsterdam around 1631, Rembrandt enjoyed enormous success as a portrait painter. From the middle of the 17th century, his increasingly rough and brooding style of painting was out of step with a new fashion for smoothly painted and more evenly lit works. He nevertheless continued to receive portrait commissions from some of the most prominent people in the country, who remained impressed with his unparalleled skill in conveying character.
Rembrandt also painted more self portraits than any other 17th century artist and here you can see a self portrait he painted when he was 34.
This portrait shows Rembrandt at the height of his career, 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.
Photo by Ellie in the #nationalgallery Social Media Team
#selfportrait #rembrandt #instamuseum #arthistory #history #painting #oilpainting


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National Gallery

Happy #ValentinesDay! Looking for something to do today? Come and have a look at the couples in our collection, including William Hallett and Elizabeth Stephen in Room 34, painted by Gainsborough in 1785.
William Hallett and Elizabeth Stephen were both aged 21 and due to be married in the summer of 1785, shortly after the painting was completed.
Portraits of wealthy sitters posed in a natural setting and dressed in their finest (but not necessarily most practical) clothes were a popular status symbol.
William is in a black, silk velvet frock-suit. His apparent carelessness is actually a studied pose. The undone jacket and with one hand tucked into it is a stance seen in many fashionable 18th-century informal portraits (known as conversation pieces). 'John Plampin', also by Gainsborough does the same.
Elizabeth is in a dress of ivory silk - perhaps her wedding dress - caught at the waist with a black silk band. A frilled muslin kerchief covers her breast, with a knot of grape-green ribbon under it.
The light, feathery brushstrokes used to describe the landscape are typical of Gainsborough's late style. William's hair and Elizabeth's gauzy shawl almost blend into the landscape they walk through.
Detail from Thomas Gainsborough, ‘Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’)’, 1785 © The National Gallery, London.
#couple #valentines #love #lovers #gainsborough #nationalgallery #art #arthistory


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National Gallery

Happy #ValentinesDay lovers! Looking for something to do today? Come and have a look at the couples in our collection, including Venus and Mars in Room 58, painted by Botticelli in about 1485.
Mars, God of War, was one of the lovers of Venus, Goddess of Love. Here Mars is asleep and unarmed, while Venus is awake and alert. The meaning of the picture is that love conquers war, or love conquers all.
Swipe across to see Mars sleeping the 'little death' which comes after making love - not even a trumpet in his ear will wake him. The little satyrs have stolen his lance - a joke to show that he is now disarmed.
This work was probably a piece of bedroom furniture, perhaps a bedhead or piece of wainscoting, most probably the 'spalliera' or backboard from a chest or day bed. The wasps ('vespe' in Italian) at the top right suggest a link with the Vespucci family, though they may be no more than a symbol of the stings of love.
Detail from Sandro Botticelli, 'Venus and Mars', about 1485 © The National Gallery, London.
#botticelli #venus #mars #love #lovers #sandrobotticelli #nationalgallery #art #arthistory


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National Gallery

How will you be spending #ValentinesDay tomorrow? Why not come to the Gallery and have a look at some of the loved-up couples in our collection.

Here, Watteau paintings a guitar player in a brightly coloured theatrical costume serenading a girl seating at his feat. A marble bust of a bearded philosopher appears above the musician, turned to the right where secondary figures, engaged in their own pursuits, pay no attention to the two main actors.

Come and see this pair of lovers in Room 33.
Detail from Jean-Antoine Watteau, 'The Scale of Love', 1715-18 © The National Gallery, London.

#love #valentines #romantic #couple #nationalgallery #art #historyofart #painting


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