The National Gallery in London is one of the 10 most visited museums in the world. It did not grow out of a royal collection but began in 1824, when the British government bought 38 paintings from the estate of John Julius Angerstein, a businessman who’d built a collection that included works by Rembrandt, Raphael, Titian, Hogarth, and Turner. With each new director, the National Gallery’s collection grew, two-thirds of its acquisitions coming from private donations. And while it isn’t the biggest of national galleries, it can claim an exemplary breadth of art. Now, for the first time, a large-scale exhibition drawn from its holdings—including Vermeers and Van Goghs—is traveling. Viewers in Osaka will also see 61 never-before-shown works. —L.J.
National Museum of Art 4 Chome-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0005, Japan Get Directions »