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Caravaggio - Boy Bitten by a Lizard

National Gallery March Day Two visit

This is day two visit of the National Gallery in London. I’ve decided to visit over two days, so not to rush my visit, but to bask in the absolute beauty of the paintings. Each time I have visited I find something different in the permanent collection. So with nothing more to say here are my favourite paintings.

Italian Painters

Most of the gallaries collection consists of paintings by Italian artists. This is due to the fact that the then director of the gallery already acquired paintings in this country in the XIX century.

The collection includes works by Andrea Mantegna, Piero Della Francesca, Fra Filippo Lippi, Masaccio, Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, several paintings by Raphael Santi, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Paintings of the 16th century are represented with works by Tintoretto and Giorgione and the XVII century are the canvases of Giovanni Batista Tiepolo and Michelangelo da Caravaggio.

Andrea Mantegna, Samson and Delilah

Andrea Mantegna, Samson and Delilah

I have to say, any painting or art work which shows the bible story of Samson and Delilah always floats my boat and this is no exception. The rendition is by Italian artist Andre Mantegna (1430 – 1506) who’s story telling of women’s treachery is quite unique as it gives a 3D viewpoint and looks more like woodcut than painting on linen. This boldly patterned marble background suggests the dawn sky.

Caravaggio - Boy Bitten by a Lizard

Caravaggio – Boy Bitten by a Lizard

Caravaggio, is one of my all time favourite artist and  Boy Bitten by a Lizard is a prime example of allegory of the possible pain of love, or simply a study in expression. The painting is one of several related works by Caravggio made expressly for the market, with a particular group of wealthy patrons in mind. To find out more about Caravggio early work visit here

The Battle of San Romano Paolo Uccello

The Battle of San Romano Paolo Uccello

The Battle of San Romano by Florentine painter Paolo Uccello was a skirmish which took place between the Florentines and Sienese in 1432. The Victorius Florentines are led by Niccolò da Tolentino, on a white charger. He is identifiable by the ‘Knot of Solomon’ device on his banner. The painting was with two companion panels showing incidents from the same battle, commissioned by the Bartolini Salimbeni family in Florence. Lorenzo de’ Medici so coveted them that he had the paintings forcibly removed to the Medici Palace.

Dutch Painters

Among the Dutch artists, the work of Jan Van Eyck stands out. The collection also includes the works of Hans Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, whose main themes are the events described on the pages of the Bible of the New Testament.


The paintings of the Flemings belong to the 17th century. These are the works of Anthony van Dyck, and Peter Paul Rubens.

One of the masterpieces of the collection is the painting “The Lady for the Harpsichord” by Jan Vermeer from Delft.

The collection also includes works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Rembrandt Garmens van Rijn and Frans Hals.

Spanish Painters

Paintings of Spain are the most famous masters of the XVII century: Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Zurbaran, El Greco. Also in the collection are some works by Francisco Goya and two paintings by Bartolome Esteban Murillo.

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