The year-long deal will see the institution work closely with Nikon on the delivery of varied online content, all aimed at maximising engagement with the National Gallery’s collection and highlighting the synergies between photography and fine art.

The first fruit of the collaboration’s labour has been launched today. Reimagining the Picture of the Month format which dates back to 1942 – when a single painting was returned to the National Gallery each month from the disused Welsh slate mine where the collection was held for safety during the Second World War – a new digital incarnation of the series will place a different painting under the spotlight on monthly rotation.

November’s Picture of the Month is the 1654 work Butterflies, Moths and Insects with Sprays of Common Hawthorn and Forget-Me-Not by Jan van Kessel the Elder. As will be a convention of the initiative, the artwork is explored in depth on the National Gallery website.

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Butterflies, Moths and Insects with Sprays of Common Hawthorn and Forget-Me-Not (1654) by Jan van Kessel the Elder (1626 – 1679). Oil on Wood © The National Gallery, London

Various free digital events for National Gallery Members, led by gallery educators and Nikon, will also become a fixture during the second lockdown. Julian Harvie, head of marketing for Nikon Northern Europe, said the firm is “proud to be working with such an iconic institution to inspire and educate our online audience”.

Other winter content will include a new series of films showcasing the work of the venue’s conservation department and regular curator-led talks broadcast via the National Gallery’s social platforms.

In line with the government’s latest lockdown policy, museums across the country will remain closed to the public until at least 2nd December.

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