The National Gallery hosts one of the world's finest art collection, displayng over 2.300 masterpieces dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. It was founded in 1824, when a private collection of 38 paintings was aquired by the British Government and exhibited in the house of the late owner, banker J.J. Angertsein, at 100 Pall Mall. In 1838 the growing collection moved to its current site. The beautiful neoclassical building, overlooking the square, was designed by William Wilkins and was opened by Queen Victoria on the 7 April 1838. The original structure was expanded in a series of building campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries as neighbouring land became available.
The main entrance is located in the Sainsbury wing, to the left of the building, where are the oldest paintings such as works by Giotto and Jan Van Eyck. The Gallery boasts almost 70 individual rooms. All major traditions of Western European painting are represented, from the Italian artists of late medieval and Renaissance to the French Impressionists. You may recognize some of the world's most famous and valued paintings, such as Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.