Virtually explore the National Gallery of Art with us as your guide
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Henri Matisse, Open Window, Collioure
Although the style implies a rapid or even slipshod painting process, Open Window, Collioure was carefully orchestrated in every aspect.
Hiram Powers, The Greek Slave
Though at first glance this nude seems plucked from classical antiquity, it actually alludes to modern politics.
Helen Frankenthaler, Mountains and Sea
Frankenthaler doesn’t paint the landscape per se, but offers an intuitive response to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.
Alberto Giacometti, Walking Man II
Sartre described Giacometti’s figures as “halfway between nothingness and being,” but “very skinny” works too.
Giovanni Bellini and Titian,The Feast of the Gods
This canvas was rolled, varnished, reworked, and revised again. A classical scene, it once hung in a study.
John Constable, Wivenhoe Park, Essex
Can you paint a portrait of place? Constable makes a case for it with this idyllic depiction of a country estate.
David, The Emperor Napoleon in His Study in the Tuileries
As the low candles and late hour suggest, Napoleon is short on time. David captures the twilight of his reign.
Judith Leyster, Self-Portrait
Professional female artists were few in the Dutch Republic. Here, Leyster cultivates confidence in her abilities.
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait (1659)
With honesty and directness, Rembrandt paints a “selfie.” His marked face captures aging—and the painting process.
Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance
Is it a cautionary tale of vanity? A prompt for introspection? Art historians are still weighing the evidence.
Albrecht Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings
Have print, will travel. New technologies of mechanical reproduction allowed Dürer to circulate his artistic ideas.
Giorgione, The Adoration of the Shepherds
Quiet and meditative, two kneeling shepherds set the painting’s tone—and allow the viewer to join them in worship.