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The twenty-five paintings from that collection now in the Gallery, including "NG1", arrived later by a variety of routes.In 1799 the dealer Noel Desenfans offered a ready-made national collection to the British government; he and his partner Sir Francis Bourgeois had assembled it for the king of Poland, before the Third Partition in 1795 abolished Polish independence.The Sainsbury Wing, an extension to the west by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain.The current Director of the National Gallery is Gabriele Finaldi.Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains essentially unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history.Wilkins's building was often criticised for the perceived weaknesses of its design and for its lack of space; the latter problem led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897.
The collection opened in 1814 in Britain's first purpose-built public gallery, the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
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 MP John Wilkes argued for the government to buy this "invaluable treasure" and suggested that it be housed in "a noble gallery...
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The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London.The Scottish dealer William Buchanan and the collector Joseph Count Truchsess, both formed art collections expressly as the basis for a future national collection, but their respective offers (both made in 1803) were also declined.