The National Gallery
The National Gallery is one of Londons, and arguably Europe's, most important and prestigious museums. With an extensive collection of works of art by almost all artists of merit in the period covering 1260 to 1900. It stands shoulder to shoulder with such grand artistic storehouses as Paris's The Louvre, the Uffizi in Florence and even the Museums of the Vatican in Rome.
It was in fact the desire to match the artistic efforts of the aforementioned cities that spurred King George IV to purchase the house of the late John Julius Angerstein, a Russian banker and an already well established collector of art. It was from this collection that the first 34 exhibits in the National Gallery were taken, including works by world renowned artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, an innovator of the extravagant Baroque style, and the great dutch painter Rembrandt.
Over the many years between its founding by King George IV and this day the collection of the gallery has increased to over 2300 paintings, its bulk containing European paintings from the 13th to the 19th century.
As with all national museums, admission to the National Gallery in London is free for anyone. And the opening times are 10am to 6pm every day, with a later closing time on Fridays of 9pm.