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Famous Paintings Reviewed

Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery

Posted by Susan Benford

With 2300 famous paintings in its collection of European paintings, London's National Gallery can be overwhelming. In fact, most art museums are -- which is when (and where) Masterpiece Cards' research is indispensable.

We surveyed nearly two dozen art history books to learn which famous paintings were discussed most frequently when art history pros assessed famous painters and art movements. These famous paintings, shown in bold-face, are included in 250 Masterpieces in Western Painting, a boxed set of art history cards examining Renaissance paintings through Pop works of art. The other paintings below are "runner-ups", according to art history pros. If you're lucky enough to be visiting London, this National Gallery itinerary will amaze and amuse.  Have fun!

Bellini, Giovanni. Doge Leonardo Loredon.  Oil on wood, 1501

Botticelli, Sandro. Mystical Nativity. Oil on canvas, 1500 or 1501

Bronzino, Agnolo. An Allegory (Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time). Oil on wood, before 1545

Canaletto. Venice: The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day.  Oil on canvas, c. 1735 - 1741

Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da. The Supper at Emmaus.  Oil on canvas, 1601.  Read about other famous paintings by Caravaggio

Constable, John. The Hay Wain.  Oil on canvas, 1821

della Francesca, Piero. The Baptism of Christ. Tempera on wood, c. 1440 - 1450

Gainsborough, Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. AndrewsOil on canvas, c. 1748 - 1749

Hogarth, William. Marriage a la Mode: The Tete a Tete.  Oil on canvas, c. 1743.  Read about this art painting hereMarriage a la Mode: tete a tete

William Hogarth. Marriage a la Mode. Oil on canvas, ca. 1743.  28" x 36".  National Gallery, London.

 Holbein the Younger, Hans. Erasmus of Rotterdam oil on panel, c.  1523

Holbein the Younger, Hans. Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (The Ambassadors). Oil on oak panel, 1533.  Read about other famous paintings by Holbein

Hooch, Pieter de. The Courtyard of a House in Delft.  Oil on canvas, 1658

Kalf, Willem. Still Life with Lobster, Drinking Horn and Glasses.  Oil on canvas, 1653. Read about this famous painting by Willem Kalf.

Lorrain, Claude. Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba.  Oil on canvas, 1648

Michelangelo, The Entombment.  C. 1500-1501.  Explore famous paintings by Michelangelo- there are four! 

Morisot, Berthe. Summer's Day.  Oil on canvas,1879

Poussin, Nicolas. The Abduction of the Sabine Women.  Oil on canvas, c. 1633 - 1634.  Learn about other famous paintings by Poussin. 

Rauschenberg, Robert. Bed. Oil and pencil on pillow, quilt and sheet on wooden supports,1955

Rubens, Peter Paul. Portrait of Suzanne Fourment (Le Chapeau de paille).  Oil on wood, 1625

Rubens, Peter Paul. The Judgement of Paris.  Oil on panel, 1632 - 1635. Love this famous painter? Explore more famous paintings by Rubens

Ruisdael, Jacob van. Two Watermills and an open Sluice near Singraven.  Oil on canvas, c. 1650 - 1652

Seurat, Georges. Bathers at Asnieres.  Oil on canvas, c. 1883 - 1884

Titian. Bacchus and Ariadne.  Oil on canvas, 1520-1530.  Read about some world famous paintings by Titian.   Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne. Oil on canvas, c. 1522-23. 5' 9" x 6' 3". National Gallery, London 

Turner, Joseph Mallord William. The "Fighting Temeraire" Tugged to her Last Berth to be Broken Up.  Oil on canvas, 1838

Uccello, Paolo. The Battle of San Romano(left panel of a triptych). Tempera on panel,  c. 1445.  Read an art analysis of this famous painting, a favorite at Masterpiece Cards. The Battle of San Romano, and see images of this famous painting. 

van Dyck, Sir Anthony. Equestrian Portrait of Charles I. Oil on canvas, c. 1636

van Eyck, Jan. Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?)Tempera and wood on panel, 1433. Below. Read about some of van Eyck's other famous artwork, The Adoration of the Lamb, the Ghent Altarpiece, and The Arnolfini Portrait.

man in a red turbanJan van Eyck. Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?). Tempera and oil on wood, 1433.  13 1/8" x 10 1/8".  National Gallery, London. 

van Eyck, Jan. Arnolfini Portrait.  Oil on oak, 1434. Read about this famous painting by van Eyck

Velazquez, Diego. Venus with a Mirror (The Rokeby Venus). Oil on canvas, 1644 - 1648.

Wright (of Derby), Joseph. An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, Oil on canvas, 1768.

CURIOUS about the art history behind these famous paintings?

Join Famous Paintings Reviewed, an art history blog that delves into the fascinating history of influential paintings.  Posts come weekly-ish, and comments are welcomed.


Topics: famous paintings, Renaissance paintings, National Gallery

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Famous Painters Blogroll

Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess and Phillip II of Spain

Beckmann, Departure; Self-Portrait in Tuxedo; Sinking of Titanic

Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

BonheurPlowing in the Nivernais

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Botticelli Primavera

Caravaggio, Fashion and Art History

CaravaggioConversion of St. Paul

Caravaggio, Young, Sick Bacchus and Basket of Fruit

Caravaggio, Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

Caravaggio, Taking of Christ (Kiss of Judas)

Caravaggio Paintings at the Villa Borghese

Cave Paintings

Cezanne, Bathers

Cezanne, Card Players

Cezanne, Most Famous Paintings 

Copley, Paul Revere

David, Death of Marat 

David, Death of Socrates

David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

de Kooning, Retrospective at MoMA (Part I)

de Kooning,Excavation and Painting, 1948 

de KooningWoman I

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People  

Diebenkorn, The Ocean Park Series

Duncanson, Robert Seldon.  Art History Welcomes Duncanson 

Durer, The Four Apostles

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz

FontanaPortrait of a Noblewoman

Frankenthaler, Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea

Gainsborough, The Blue Boy

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Judith Beheading Holofernes

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting 

Ghent Altarpiece.  

Ghent Altarpiece via zoom

GiorgioneThree Philosophers 

Goya, Family of Charles IV

Goya, The Third of May 1808 

Goya, Duchess of Alba; Saturn Devouring his Son; Two Old Men; Half-Submerged Dog; Black Paintings

Grunewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard

Hals, The Laughing Cavalier

Hals, Regents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Hopper, Nighthawks

Ingres, Grande Odalisque and Portrait of Madame Moissetier

Isenheim Altarpiece

Kahlo, Renowned Frida Kahlo Paintings.  

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting and David Garrick.  

Klimt, The Kiss and Adele Bloch-Bauer

Leonardo, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London 

Leonardo, La Bella Principessa 

Leonardo, New Mona Lisa

Leonardo, Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta 

Leonardo, Savior of the World(Salvator Mundi) 

Leonardo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Leyster, Famous Female Painters 

ManetA Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Manet, Luncheon in the Studio

Manet, The Old Musician

Manet, Street Singer

MantegnaDead Christ

Matisse Paintings, In Search of True Painting

Matisse, The DanceThe Music

Matisse, The Cone Collection

Matisse, The Red Studio

Matisse, The Yellow Dress

Michelangelo, Crucifixion with the Madonna

Michelangelo, Famous Paintings

Michelangelo, La Pieta with Two Angels (latest attribution?)

Michelangelo, St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Modersohn-Becker, Famous Female Painters

Monet, Waterlilies

Morisot, Famous Paintings

MorisotMore Famous Paintings

Munch, The Scream

O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso, Las Meninas

Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ

Poussin, Assumption of the Virgin

Raphael, Sistine Madonna

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer 

Rembrandt, Night Watch

Rembrandt paintings at Frick Show

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait at an Early AgeJeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, The Jewish Bride

Rembrandt, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild

Rubens, Venus and Adonis

Sanchez Cotan, Spanish Still-life

Sargent, El Jaleo

Sargent, Madame X

Steen, The Christening Feast 

Steen paintings at Frick Show

Tanner, The Banjo Lesson and The Thankful Poor

Titian, Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Man with a Glove

Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, Allegory of Prudence, Jacopa Strada, St. Jerome, Slaying of Marysas

Titian, Rape of Europa

Turner, J. M. W, The Fighting Temeraire

Uccello, Battle of San Romano

van der Weyden, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Vincent van Gogh paintings up to 1889

Vincent van Gogh paintings, 1888-1890

van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait

van Eyck, Adoration of the Lamb

van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece

van Gogh, The Potato Eaters

van GoghMemory of Garden at Etten; Tatched Cottages; White House

van Gogh,  Portrait of Madam Trabuc; Morning: Going Out

van Gogh, Starry Night

Velazquez, Juan de Pareja

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vermeer, Saint Praxedis

Vermeer, The Kitchen Maid

Vermeer, The Allegory of Painting

VermeerGirl with the Red Hat

Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans

Warhol, Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn 

Warhol, Mao 

Anders Zorn

Famous Paintings by Art Museums - ebooks

Learn about famous paintings to see in these art museums:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY). One of those intimate, small art museums with a stellar collectionFamous Paintings at Albright-Knox. 

Art Institute of Chicago: Plan to see these famous paintings at the Art Institute -- and download an ebook about them.

Louvre Museum, (Paris): one of the largest art museums in the world! Know which Louvre paintings not to miss in this sortable ebook. 

Mauritshuis Museum: explore works by renowned Dutch painters

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City): download the ebook, Famous-Paintings-Metropolitan-Museum, to learn its must-see masterpieces.

National Gallery (London): with 2300 famous paintings alone in its European painting section, discover highlights to see!  Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery.

Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam): 10 famous paintings not to miss

Washington, D.C. Art Museums: Explore forty famous paintings in Washington, DC in this article.

Most Popular Posts

Michelangelo PaintingsThe Torment of Saint Anthony; The Manchester Madonna;Holy Family (Doni Tondo); and Entombment

Cave Paintings: explore this prehistoric art in Spain and France.

Picasso's Las Meninas: 58 Picasso paintings inspired by Velazquez's Las Meninas

Ghent Altarpiece: the van Eyck masterpiece, one of the most famous artworks ever made. 

Survey of Renaissance Paintings: want to know what Renaissance paintings were all about? Start with 20 of its most famous painters in this sweeping survey! 

Discover more of readers' favorite art history blog posts. 

Female Artists

While we long for the time when artists are artists and genderless, that time isn't yet here.

These are a few of the female artists who've left lasting legacies in the history of painting:

Sofonisba AnguissolaThree Sisters Playing ChessPhillip II of Spain

Rosa Bonheur.  Plowing in the Nivernais.  Horse Fair.

Lavinia Fontana. Portrait of a Noblewoman.

Helen Frankenthaler. Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea. 

Artemisia Gentileschi.  Judith Beheading Holofernes.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting.

Frida Kahlo.  Frida and Diego Rivera.  The Two Fridas.  The Love Embrace of the Universe. 

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting.  David Garrick.

Judith Leyster.  Self-Portrait.  The Proposition. 

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self-Portrait with an Amber Necklace. Still Life with Goldfish. 

Berthe Morisot.  Refuge in Normandy.  The Cradle. 

Georgia O'Keeffe. Jack in the Pulpit Series. 

Survey of Female Artists

Art History Other

Art History Reading List: 50+ great reads in fiction and non-fiction

Art History Videos on YouTube

Cave Paintings

Most Controversial Paintings

Google Art ProjectArt Museums Up Close

Survey of Female Artists

Survey of Renaissance Paintings.

Art History Beyond Europe

A few forays into art outside Europe:

African Art and Bocio

African Mask of Idia


Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Great Wave

The Terracotta Warriors