Group    From 10/5/1824 

National Gallery

Categories: Art, History

In the late 1700s national galleries were all the rage in Europe. A number of countries nationalised their royal collections but the British government instead wanted to purchase a major collection when one became available. From 1777 onwards they missed a number of opportunities but finally bought the 38 paintings in the collection of the late John Julius Angerstein (1735–1823). This was displayed in his former townhouse at 100 Pall Mall, opening to the public on 10 May 1824. The house is lost but Wikipedia has a drawing which shows it to have been a not particularly large, traditional, Georgian terraced house.

The house was too small to accommodate all the visitors and in 1832 construction began on a new building by William Wilkins, a short distance away, overlooking the newly constructed Trafalgar Square.

Someone was looking to save expense wherever possible: the portico came from nearby Carlton House, demolished in  1826; when the first duke of Chandos, had to sell off his Canons estate in Little Stanmore it was demolished in 1747 and its colonnade was used on the front of the Gallery; cost-savings on the Marble Arch meant there were spare sculptural elements, some of which were put to good use on the front elevation.

The Carlton House columns were used for the two side porticos which gave access to the workhouse and a barracks immediately behind (the site allowing the gallery to be only one room deep). The eastern half of the building housed the Royal Academy until 1868. Since first construction the gallery has extended northwards and westwards as can be seen in this floor plan from Wikipedia, author Gringer.

Since opening with 38 paintings the collection has been expanded by donations and purchases and now holds more than 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

Charles Eastlake was a key figure in the early management of the gallery and expansion of its collection, and in 1855 was appointed its first Director, a post he held until his death, 10 years later.

This section lists the memorials created by the subject on this page:
National Gallery

Creations i

Muses - Apollo

Osbert Sitwell as Apollo, god of music, dance and lots more, plays a pipe to ...

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Virtues - Anrep

Carved at the top of the gravestone is a portrait of Anrep himself. The image...

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Other Subjects

Langlands & Bell

Langlands & Bell

From their website: "Artists, Ben Langlands & Nikki Bell...began collaborating after they met at art school in London 1977. They are based in London...."

Group, Art

1 memorial
Anya Patel

Anya Patel

Artist.

Person, Art

1 memorial
Robert Seymour

Robert Seymour

Illustrator.  Born Somerset.  In November 1835 Seymour, a successful illustrator, aged 38, known for comic sporting prints suggested to the publishers Chapman and Hall a project, a series of illust...

Person, Art, Tragedy

1 memorial
Turner Society
1 memorial
Mary Lowndes

Mary Lowndes

Artist, suffragette and founder of Artist Suffrage League in 1909. Born Dorset. Trained in stained-glass work. Lived and worked in Chelsea. The photo shows Lowndes in 1890.

Person, Art, Craft / Design, Gender Issues

1 memorial