The institution’s curators and educators have worked closer than ever before with their colleagues in the digital team to produce hundreds of films, talks, online courses and experimental content formats for a locked-down public.

Having not hosted a single live event online prior to March 2020, the National Gallery has now held over 500.

“With our doors closed we have had to adapt and find new ways to bring the collection to the public. Technology like this offers exciting possibilities for creating digital experiences that can complement and broaden access to the Gallery and the work we do,” explains Lawrence Chiles, National Gallery head of digital services.

National Gallery
Detail from The Director’s Choice, created with Moyosa Media © National Gallery, London

Another staple of the extended closures has been weekly emails from director Dr Gabriele Finaldi in which he explores an image of his choosing from the Collection.

Now, uniting all the experiences of pandemic programming, The Director’s Choice will launch on 5th May to offer a virtual experience which brings the paintings discussed each week to an online exhibition available for all to access free of charge.

This final online offer prior to the Trafalgar Square site’s doors being reopened has been developed with Moyosa Media, a tech firm specialising in the creation of digital experiences. The goal of the show is to connect with as many people as possible, enticing them to book a visit so they can see the works in person when restrictions are lifted on 17th May.

What’s on?

Combining the disparate works of Giotto, Monet, Caravaggio and Turner, the online exhibition enables digital visitors to navigate the virtual Gallery, zooming in to focus on minute details of paintings while listening to Finaldi’s audio guide for each work.

Other artists featured in the exhibition include:

  • van Eyck
  • Mantegna
  • Michelangelo
  • Bellini
  • Gentileschi
  • Poussin
  • Rembrandt
  • Vermeer
  • Canaletto
  • Gainsborough

“There is an element of playfulness and even daring to this but it provides us the opportunity to explore how new digital technologies can broaden the range of approaches to experiencing our paintings,” Dr Gabriele Finaldi notes. “I hope people enjoy it.”

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