National Gallery

November 4th, 2014


National Gallery

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A documentary that goes inside one of the great museums of the world: The National Gallery in London.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 7.6/10 (101 voted)

Critic's Score: 83/100

Director: Frederick Wiseman

The National Gallery in London is one of the great museums of the world with 2400 paintings from the 13th to the end of the 19th century. Almost every human experience is represented in one or the other of the paintings. The sequences of the film show the public in various galleries; the education programs, and the scholars, scientists and curators, studying, restoring and planning the exhibitions. The relation between painting and storytelling is explored.

Country: France, USA, UK

Language: English

Release Date: 8 October 2014

Filming Locations: The National Gallery, London, England, UK

Technical Specs


User Review


Rating: 10/10

This was another of Wiseman's great films on institutions. The movie takes us inside the world of the National Gallery in London. The film does everything from show us guide lectures to the general public, specific talks for children, an art history discussion of the painting "Boulevard Montparnasse" specifically for blind people (where they feel raised images of the drawing), and talks about restoration. The main focus of the film is a special exhibition they had about Leonardo da Vinci. There is also a focus on the paintings of Hans Holbein, Poussaint, Turner and Titian. There is a very interesting segment where the restorers focus on a portrait of Rembrant, where an x-ray reveals another painting, at a 90º angle, made on the canvas at an earlier time. Discussions about whether and how to "market" the museum and how to project expenses are also shown. The film also shows a discussion with Wayne MacGregror (resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet) about a dance piece that will be performed in front of the Titian paintings and whether the dancers will need a sprung floor (the one in the museum is on concrete).Finally, the films ends with a short excerpt from this piece, danced by Leanne Benjamin and Ed Watson, in front of the Titian painting. Another excellent film by Wiseman and once you have made it past the 1.5 hour mark, by 3 hours, you feel immersed in the National Gallery world.


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