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3. Here is the list of numbers and dates which you can find in the text. What do they refer to?

24 May 1683 1617 – 1692 1753 50 1939

Text 3. The National Gallery

The UK’s main collection of western European painting is found in the National Gallery in London.

The gallery began in 1824 when the government of the day decided that Lon-

don needed a national art collection to compete with the famous European galleries, such as the Louvre in Paris. Parliament voted £60,000 to buy 38 paintings from the collection of the financier, John Julius Angerstein and these were put on show in his house in Pall Mall. The gallery moved to its present home in Trafalgar Square in 1838. The building, with its famous columned façade, was specially constructed by William Wilkins.

Today the National Gallery contains some 2,300 painting and covers every European school of painting from about 1260 to 1900. Some of its famous masterpieces include Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, painted in about 1508, and Self Portrait (1669) by Rembrandt. The Hay Wain (1821) by John Constable is evocative of the eastern English landscape in days gone by, while Claude Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond was painted at his garden at Giverny, north-west of Paris.

In 1991, the new Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery was opened by Que-

en Elizabeth II. The wing is linked to the main building by a circular bridge and houses the Gallery’s collection of Early Renaissance paintings. It contains top-lit galleries, excellent facilities for lectures and temporary exhibitions, a shop, and restaurant and computer information room.

The National Gallery’s prominent position to the north of Trafalgar Square should be enhanced in years to come for there are plans to create a traffic-free piazza linking these two famous landmarks.

1. Answer the following questions:

1. Where is the National Gallery?

2. When was it founded?

3. When was the National Gallery housed first?

4. When did the National Gallery move to home in Trafalgar Square?

5. Who constructed the present building of British museum?

6. What amazing items are in the National Gallery?

7. What is the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery?

2. Decide and match what these numbers and dates refer to according to the text.


a. the year when Rembrandt painted his self portrait


b. the sum of money which Parliament wanted to pay John Julius Angerstein to buy some pictures from his collection


c. The number of paintings which the National gallery contains


d. the year when John Constable’s picture called The Hay Wain was painted


e. the period which covers every European school of painting


f. the time when the gallery moved to its present home in Trafalgar Square


g. the beginning of the National gallery


h. the year when the new Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery was opened by Queen Elizabeth II


i. the time when the famous masterpiece Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci was painted


j. the number of paintings which British government wanted to buy from the collection of financier John Julius Angerstein

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