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In the Spotlight

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Starring role
for Venus

In Hanif Kureishi’s and Roger Michell's film the National Gallery’s Rokeby Venus had a staring role. The film, released to rave reviews and an Oscar nomination for Peter O'Toole, tells of the friendship between a young girl and an aging actor and how their strange relationship, at some times perverse, grows into something of beauty.

Explore our spaces

High Victorian

High Victorian

William Wilkins’s National Gallery opened in 1838 and spans the entire north side of Trafalgar Square. It is classical in style, symmetrical in design and has at its centre a portico supported by Corinthian columns.

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Contemporary

Contemporary

In 2003 the Gallery embarked on its most recent building project, the redevelopment of the East Wing, designed by architects Dixon Jones. There is direct access to the East Wing at ground level from Trafalgar Square via the Paul Getty Entrance.

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Sainsbury Wing

Sainsbury Wing

The Sainsbury Wing, built from the generosity of the Sainsbury brothers and realised by the architect Robert Venturi, was completed in 1991. Rising to the same height and faced in the same Portland Stone, the extension was designed to complement the building.

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Exteriors

Exteriors

The National Gallery has from its roof some of the best views across London. From the balcony above the West Entrance is a superb aspect through the fountains and down Whitechapel and beyond.

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