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. Britain 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, before moving to a purpose-built gallery in the new …
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Editors. "National Gallery founded". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=4607, accessed 24 May 2017.]