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Art lovers should not miss the National Gallery for things to do in London

Published: Thursday 1st of September 2011

Art lovers seeking things to do in London are likely to visit the National Gallery.

The Art for the Nation: Sir Charles Eastlake exhibition is running at the gallery until October 30th.

Victorian artist Sir Charles Eastlake, who lived from 1793 to 1865, was a historical painter, originally becoming famous for his genre scenes, idealised portraits and religious subjects.

However, his most important works were as a writer, translating and editing seminal art-historical texts and also as an administrator, becoming Director of the National Gallery from 1855 to 1865.

This exhibition features material from the National Gallery's archive alongside some of Eastlake's key acquisitions for the collection.

During his time at the gallery, he purchased some 139 masterpieces, which now include some of the gallery's Italian Renaissance pieces.

Highlights include Uccello's Battle of San Romano and Giovanni Bellini's Madonna of the Meadow.

Eastlake is credited with transforming the way the gallery is run, establishing policies for the acquisition and display of paintings, some of which are still used today.

Posted by Geoffrey Radclyffe

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