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Great Britain, however, did not emulate the continental model, and the British Royal Collection remains in the sovereign's possession today.
In 1777 the British government had the opportunity to buy an art collection of international stature, when the descendants of Sir Robert Walpole put his collection up for sale.
The unexpected repayment of a war debt by Austria finally moved the government to buy Angerstein's collection, for £57,000.
The National Gallery opened to the public on , housed in Angerstein's former townhouse at No. Angerstein's paintings were joined in 1826 by those from Beaumont's collection, and in 1831 by the Reverend William Holwell Carr's bequest of 35 paintings.
The members lent works to exhibitions that changed annually, while an art school was held in the summer months.
However, as the paintings that were lent were often mediocre, One of the Institution's founding members, Sir George Beaumont, Bt, would eventually play a major role in the National Gallery's foundation by offering a gift of 16 paintings.
The current Director of the National Gallery is Gabriele Finaldi.
It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein in 1824.This became the founding collection of the National Gallery in 1824.The painting has the accession number NG1, making it officially the first painting to enter the Gallery.A plan to acquire 150 paintings from the Orléans collection, which had been brought to London for sale in 1798, also failed, despite the interest of both the King and the Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger.The twenty-five paintings from that collection now in the Gallery, including "NG1", arrived later by a variety of routes.