In the National Gallery, London

Visiting the National Gallery? Make sure to see these works.

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Carlo Crivelli, <em>The Annunciation with Saint Emidius</em>
Carlo Crivelli, The Annunciation with Saint Emidius

What are Persian carpets, a peacock, and a cucumber doing in a painting of The Annunciation?

The question of pregnancy in Jan van Eyck’s <em>Arnolfini Portrait</em>
The question of pregnancy in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait

Van Eyck’s enigmatic and iconic double portrait often prompts the question: is the female figure pregnant?

John Constable, <em>The Hay Wain</em>
John Constable, The Hay Wain

Landscape painting was considered lowly subject, but Constable gives them the six-foot treatment.

Thomas Gainsborough, <em>Mr. and Mrs. Andrews</em>
Thomas Gainsborough, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews

With its relaxed poses and outdoor setting, this portrait exemplifies the “conversation piece.” But is it finished?

Paul Cézanne, <em>Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)</em>
Paul Cézanne, Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)

The subject matter of this painting couldn’t be more traditional, but its formal characteristics make it modern.

William Hogarth, <em>Marriage A-la-Mode</em>
William Hogarth, Marriage A-la-Mode

Smooth talkers, vain aristocrats, disreputable doctors, unfaithful lovers—Hogarth’s moralizing takes no prisoners.

<em>The Wilton Diptych</em>
The Wilton Diptych

Hinged together, these two panels stage Richard II’s audience with the Virgin and Christ Child. Count the angels!

Jan van Eyck, <em>Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?)</em>
Jan van Eyck, Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?)

“As I can.” On the frame to this portrait, the painter humblebrags—and establishes his place in history.

Bronzino,<em> An Allegory with Venus and Cupid</em>
Bronzino, An Allegory with Venus and Cupid

Riddle me this. Bronzino’s allegorical painting is one of the most disturbing and curious in all of art history.

Paolo Uccello, <em>Battle of San Romano</em>
Paolo Uccello, Battle of San Romano

The Italian city-states were constantly at war, but this battle is between surface decoration and deep space.

Paolo Veronese, <em>The Family of Darius before Alexander</em>
Paolo Veronese, The Family of Darius before Alexander

Who are all these people? As it turns out, confusion is just part of the narrative—as is observation.

Jacopo Tintoretto, <em>The Origin of the Milky Way</em>
Jacopo Tintoretto, The Origin of the Milky Way

Jupiter swoops down and brings Hercules to nurse at Juno’s breast. The milk that spurts up creates the Milky Way.