Enjoy a cultural introduction to the
art world of London on this tour to visit the National
Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.
Built to house the 38 piece art collection of John
Julius Angerstein, the National Gallery was intended
for the enjoyment and education of all. Upon arrival
in Trafalgar Square visit the National Gallery which
houses one of the greatest collections of European painting
in the world. The Gallery’s permanent collection
spans the period from about 1250 to 1900, consisting
of Western European paintings.
Following your tour of the National Gallery proceed
with your guide for the short walk to the National Portrait
Gallery. This Gallery was formally established on 2
December 1856, when the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare
became the first picture to enter the Gallery's collection.
The National Portrait Gallery differs from the National
Gallery since it was established with the criteria that
the Gallery was to be about history, not about art,
and about the status of the sitter, rather than the
quality or character of a particular image considered
as a work of art. Originally, it was decided by the
Trustees that "No portrait of any person still
living, or deceased less that 10 years, shall be admitted
by purchase, donation, or bequest, except only in the
case of the reigning Sovereign, and of his or her Consort".
This rule changed in 1969 in order to encourage a policy
of admitting living sitters.
Enjoy time to browse the Gallery at your leisure, the
Galleries stewards and your guide will be on hand to
answer any questions you may have.