National Gallery built in Trafalgar Square (171 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors


In the second half of the eighteenth century, many other European states established national art collections, mainly by nationalising the private collections of royal or princely families. These included the Uffizi gallery in Florence, the Bavarian royal collection now in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, and the Louvre in Paris. British had no comparable collection, but in 1824, the opportunity emerged to buy the art collection of a deceased Russian ÈmigrÈ, John Julius Angerstein. The cause was championed in Parliament by Whig politician George Agar Ellis, and eventually a law was passed establishing a National Gallery. It was first opened in Angerstein's former house on Pall Mall, but was soon forced to move to temporary accommodation.…

Editors. "National Gallery built in Trafalgar Square". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 27 October 2016.]