In 1824 King George IV persuaded the reluctant British government to purchase 38 important paintings, including works by Rembrandt and Raphael. That was the beginning of Britain’s National Collection. Visitors in budget hotels near the National Gallery of London can now see works by the world’s greatest artists in a collection that has grown over the ages, thanks to contributions of money and actual pieces of art from all over the world. The main gallery building was designed in Neo-Classical style by William Wilkins, and built in 1834-38. The Sainsbury Wing was completed in 1991. There are more than 2300 paintings, most of which are on permanent display.
When you arrive here from your discount hotel near the National Gallery of London and pass through the Trafalgar Square entrance, you will be stepping into an art lover’s paradise. Represented here are all the great artistic schools: Early Renaissance, Impressionist, and more. You will see works by Fra Filippo Lippi, Auguste Renoir, Hieronymas Bosch, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Jan Vermeer, and Jean Antoine Watteau. Among the star attractions are The Cartoon by Leonardo da Vinci, The Baptism of Christ by Piero Della Francesca, Rokeby Venus by Diego Velazquez, TheHay-Wain by John Constable, the haunting The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein, and Bathers at Asnieres by Georges Seurat.