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Beautiful Rooms - Room 32, the National Gallery

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 12:15

Since January 2019 the largest gallery at the National Gallery, Room 32, has been empty of visitors and paintings but alive with cranes, scaffolding, hard-hatted painters and restorers skilled in all sorts of crafts. While doors were closed, this gallery was being restored to its original decorative design dating back to 1868.

Before refurbishment

This design involved colourfully painted friezes and lunettes, dressed with celebrated artists’ names. Such decorations had not only faded over the years but were also covered and protected throughout the Second World War.

After refurbishment

Room 32 has now opened and is welcoming visitors to adore its authentic design. Due to its vast size, it’s home to some of our largest and most striking paintings including works by Caravaggio, Guercino and Guido Reni. In the evening, the room welcomes guests to enjoy large banquets, receptions and private views of the artwork dating back to the 17th-century.

The drama, colour and emotion from these Italian artworks affected the future of painting across the whole of Europe, so it’s only fitting they hang in our most impactful room.

For information on hosting an event in the future at Room 32, the National Gallery please contact the events team: