Easily one of the best collections in the world of paintings of all times, accessible to everybody free of charge seven days a week. The collection was started at the beginning of the 19th century thanks to some large bequests of paintings donated to the country on the condition a suitable accommodation was provided for the exhibition and the conservation of the artworks. By now the collection is composed of more than 2,300 works representing all the major traditions of Western European paintings from the 13th to the 20th century.
The Impressionist section of the Gallery features some major artworks by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin and more, giving a sense of the different periods of this artistic movement and its major artists.
Some post=impressionist paintings, like the Harvest by Paul Gauguin, have been acquired as part of settlements of inheritance tax or are on loan from other galleries, in this case from Tate Britain, and are exhibited at the National Gallery for consistency with the rest of the collection.