National Gallery

National Gallery .—This building, in Trafalgar Square, is the chief depository of the pictures belonging to the nation.  In 1824, the Government purchased the Angerstein collection of 38 pictures, for £57,000, and exhibited it for a time at a house in Pall Mall.  The present structure was finished in 1838, at a cost of about £100,000, from the designs of Mr. Wilkins.  Since that year till 1869, the Royal Academy occupied the eastern half, and the National Gallery the western.  In the last-named year, the Royal Academy was removed to Burlington House; and the whole of the building is now what its name denotes.  This National Gallery now comprises the Angerstein collection, together with numerous pictures presented to the nation by Lord Farnborough, Sir George Beaumont, the Rev. Holwell Carr, Mr. Vernon, and other persons; and, most recent of all, the Turner collection, bequeathed to the nation by that greatest of our landscape painters.  Every year, likewise, witnesses the purchase of choice old pictures out of funds provided by Parliament.  The grant annually is about £10,000.  To accommodate the constantly increasing collection, the centre of the building was re-constructed in 1861, and a very handsome new saloon built, in which are deposited the choicest examples of the Italian Schools of Painting: forming, with its contents, one of the noblest rooms of the kind in Europe.  To name the pictures in this collection would be to name some of the finest works of the Italian, Spanish, Flemish, and French schools of painters.  Some of the most costly of the pictures are the following:—Murillo's ‘Holy Family,' £3000; Rubens's ‘Rape of the Sabines,' £3000; Francia's ‘Virgin and Child,' £3500; Sebastian del Piombo's ‘Raising of Lazarus,' 3500 guineas; Coreggio's ‘Holy Family,' £3800; Perugino's ‘Virgin and Child,' £4000; Claude's ‘Seaport,' £4000; Rubens's ‘Judgment of Paris,' £4200; Raffaelle's ‘St. Catherine,' £5000; Rembrandt's ‘Woman taken in Adultery,' £5250; Correggio's ‘Ecce Homo,' and ‘Mercury instructing Cupid,' 10,000 guineas; and Paul Veronese's ‘Family of Darius,' £14,000.