The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery in London, adjacent to the National Portrait Gallery, has a heavyweight roster that includes Michelangelo, da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Vermeer, van Eyck, et al.

The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck is the painting that I was most excited to see. It is nearly 600 years old, and although van Eyck's name isn't as well known as Van Gogh or even Vermeer, it's probably impossible to study art history and not learn about the Arnolfini Portrait, which features a tiny painted mirror that itself reflects the protagonists in the panting.

Another piece that wowed me was, A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House, nearly 500 years old, by Samuel van Hoogstraten. It is a painting with multiple panels, constructed like a diorama, that when viewed through one of two peepholes on the side reveals dimension. A bit gimmicky by today's standards, maybe, and only maybe, and perhaps gimmicky even 500 years ago, but it's said to be the best of only a half-dozen or so peepshows remaining from that era. Despite the name peepshow, the subject matter itself is quite tame. It's the interior of a Dutch house, and not much else. It's like a Vermeer painting, only in 3D.