Christ Church is unique among the Oxford and Cambridge colleges in possessing an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings.

The collection is housed in a purpose-built gallery designed by the architects Powell and Moya and was opened in 1968 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Visiting the Picture Gallery

The Picture Gallery is located within the walls of Christ Church. To visit the Picture Gallery without visiting the rest of the college, enter through Canterbury Gate off Oriel Square (from King Edward Street), only a couple of minutes walk from the High Street. The Custodian at the gate will direct you to the Gallery.

Tickets can be purchased directly at the entrance to the Picture Gallery or can be booked online here. All group visits need to be booked directly with the Picture Gallery in advance.

Find out more about visiting the gallery
A visitor at the Picture Gallery
Opening times

The Picture Gallery is open to all. Group visits are welcomed, but need to be booked in advance. Please note last entry to the gallery is at 4.30pm

Opening - Last entry is at 4.30pm
Thursday  11am–5pm
Sunday 2pm–5pm
A visitor viewing paintings from the collection

Our collections

The internationally renowned drawings collection in the Picture Gallery at Christ Church is regarded as one of the most important private collections of Old Master drawings in the country and includes work by the masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dürer, Raphael and Rubens. 

Other works in the collection include paintings by artists such as Filippino Lippi, Tintoretto, Veronese, Annibale Carracci and Salvator Rosa. Additionally, there are also remarkable works by northern painters such as Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals and Hugo van der Goes.

Find out more about the drawings and paintings in our collections

Exhibitions and events

The Picture Gallery holds temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Exhibitions are free to gallery ticket holders – no need to book separately. 

Our current exhibitions are Drawing & Words (Extended until 22 July 2024) and Painting in the Round: The Tondi re-displayed (until 14 October 2024)

Find out more about the exhibitions at the gallery

Why are there empty frames in Christ Church Picture Gallery?

Looking around the Picture Gallery, visitors will be struck by two empty frames on the gallery wall. During a burglary on 14 March 2020, three paintings were stolen from Christ Church Picture Gallery, leaving behind their shattered frames.

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An empty frame hanging in the Picture Gallery as a reminder of the missing paintings

About the gallery

The collections

The gallery holds an important collection of nearly 300 Old Master paintings and 2,000 drawings.

The collection is particularly strong in Italian art from the 14th to 18th centuries, with works by artists including Annibale Carracci, Fra Angelico, Salvator Rosa and Paolo Veronese. The gallery has a range of works by other notable European painters, drawings by Raphael, Albrecht Dürer, and Michelangelo along with a collection of Russian icons and English glass from bequests in the 20th century.

Find out more about the Picture Gallery