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Fountains, National Gallery and Trafalgar Square, London | by ell brown
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Fountains, National Gallery and Trafalgar Square, London

At the back of Trafalgar Square is The National Gallery. In the middle are fountains (my camera got sprayed a couple of times).


To the right is the church St Martin-in-the-Fields.


Near the statue of General Sir Charles James Napier.


National Gallery is Grade I listed.



71/106; 72/134

5.2.70 National Gallery

G.V. I

Picture Gallery. 1832-38 by William Wilkins, built to "command" the north side

of new square and house the Angerstein Collection, purchased by the government

at the instance of George IV, as well as, originally, to accommodate the Royal

Academy. Portland stone, concealed glazed gallery roofs. Fine, scholarly,

Graeco-Roman classicism that reads well in perspective but is weak as a frontal

composition with too even a balance in the accents that attempt to vary this

long elevation. 2 storeys on plinth. 32 windows wide with central octastyle

pedimented portico with secondary tetrastyle portico entrances and terminal

pavilions. The central Corinthian portico is effectively raised on podium wall

with flanking steps. Set back behind portico pediment is a stone cupolaed dome

on stone drum. The centrepiece of the main portico is flanked by 2 giant

pilastered bays before breaking back to the main wall plane of the wings.

Architraved sash windows with cornices on ground floor, blind on 1st floor. The

secondary Corinthian tetrastyle porticoes have parapets raised over central

bay. The terminal pavilions have pairs of flanking giant pilasters and are

surmounted by small octagonal stone cupolas with pierced work openings. 1st

floor sill band; main entablature with dentil cornice and crowning balustraded

parapet. The columns from Holland's demolished Carlton House were intended for

the portico but in the end only bases and reworked capitals from Carlton House

were reused for the secondary porticoes in the wings. On east facade frontal is

a seated statue of Minerva by Flaxman made as a Britannia for Marble Arch.

Existing interiors principally by E. M. Barry, 1867-76, vestibule and central

hall by Sir J. Taylor, 1885-87. The National Gallery site had already been

proposed for this purpose in Nash's Metropolitan Improvements as of course the

overall plan of the square.

Survey of London. Vol XX.

Georgian London;John Summerson.


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Taken on October 16, 2009