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The Guildhall Art Gallery is the main art gallery in the City of London and houses its art collection. Located in a building adjacent to the Guildhall an elegant building designed by Richard Gilbert Scott. The building was replacing an earlier one, destroyed in the Blitz in 1941.
The gallery was originally built in 1885 and today consists of about 4,000 works, of which around 250 are on display at any one time. Many of the paintings are of London themes. There is also a significant collection of Victorian era art, including Pre-Raphaelites, which features paintings by artists such as John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Abraham Solomon, Edward John Poynter and Edwin Landseer, and a view of Salisbury Cathedral by John Constable. The centrepiece of the largest gallery is John Singleton Copley's huge painting The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar.
When the new complex was build in 1998, the remain of an amphitheater was found out during the excavation of the site. This in situ London's Roman discovery has been kept and preserved into the Art Gallery. This monument was built in AD70 from wood but was renovated in the early 2nd century with tiled entrances and rag-stone walls. The amphitheatre was used for various public events such as gladiator games, entertaining soldiers and the public with animal fighting and public execution of criminals, as well as religious activities. When the ancient Romans left in the 4th century the amphitheatre lay derelict for hundreds of years. In the 11th century the area was reoccupied and by the 12th century the first Guildhall was built next to it.