The national museum's fine art collection gives a comprehensive overview of stylistic developments across Europe from 1500.

The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1905,and has collections of archaeology, botany, fine and applied art, geology and zoology.

Permanent collection

The collection is particularly strong in its late-19th- and 20th-century galleries, due in large part to the bequest of 260 works by the sisters Gwendoline and Margaret Davies in the middle of the last century.

Old Masters include works by Cima da Conegliano, Jan van der Capelle and Frans Snyders, with classical landscapes by Poussin and Salvator Rosa. Among the later pictures there is a significant French emphasis, with the world's largest collection of works by satirical artist Honoré Daumier, and canvases by Boudin, Corot, Manet, Pissarro and Renoir, as well as three Monet waterlilies. Post-Impressionist works include three Cézannes, Van Gogh's Rain at Auvers, and a bronze cast of Rodin's The Kiss.

The development of Welsh art is explored through outstanding landscapes by Thomas Jones and Richard Wilson as well as other works by Augustus and Gwen John. Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn and Dylan Thomas are among the faces on display in the gallery of notable Welsh figures.

The geological and archaeological collections follow the geographical evolution of Wales up to the end of the last ice age, before going in search of the origins of early Welsh man. A multimedia installation recreates the experience of South Wales 200 million years ago, while fossils and plant and animal life add further detail to the picture. Of particular interest from the later archaeological galleries is the beautiful collection of Bronze Age gold jewellery and artefacts.

National Museum Cardiff

Free to all

Cathays Park, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10 3NP

02920 397951


Opening times

Tues – Sun & most Bank Holiday Mondays 10am – 5pm (Galleries close 4.45pm) Closed 24 – 26 Dec, 1 Jan

With a National Art Pass you get

10% off in café
Enjoy a range of sandwiches and baguettes, home-made soup, and cakes made from local Welsh ingredients where possible.
Valid until December 2022
10% off in restaurant
Valid until December 2022
10% off in shop
Valid until December 2022

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Exhibitions and events at National Museum Cardiff

Exhibitions nearby

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