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 by art historians. These works, 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. Andrews. Oil on canvas, c. 1748 – 1749
Hogarth, William. Marriage a la Mode: The Tete a Tete. Oil on canvas, c. 1743. Below.
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.
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.
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 left. Read about some of van Eyck’s other famous artwork, The Adoration of the Lamb, the Ghent Altarpiece, and The Arnolfini Portrait.
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.
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