10 May

The National Gallery in London opens to the public on this day in 1824.

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. It houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Musée du Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The present building, the third to house the National Gallery, was designed by William Wilkins from 1832 to 1838. Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains essentially unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history. Wilkins’s building was often criticised for the perceived weaknesses of its design and for its lack of space; the latter problem led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897. The Sainsbury Wing is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain.

National_Gallery_at_100_Pall_Mall
100 Pall Mall, the home of the National Gallery from 1824-1834