National Gallery

The National Gallery was designed by William Wilkins R.A., (1778-1839) and opened to the public in 1838. It then consisted of six rooms, the rest being occupied by the Royal Academy of Arts. Prior to this, the collection of thirty -eight pictures, which had been purchased for the Nation in 1824 on the death if Mr. John Julius Angerstein,(1735-1823) had continued to be displayed at Mr. Angerstein's house in Pall Mall. A new room was added in 1860 and in 1869 the Royal Academy took over Burlington House making five more rooms available. In 1876 the 'New Wing' was built designed by E. M. Barry, R.A.(1830-1880). An additional five rooms were opened in 1887. The collection grew steadily during the century through both Parliamentary grants and private bequests. In 1838, the National Collection consisted of 150 pictures. By 1878, it had reached 926 and by 1888 totalled some 1250 works.