The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1905, with its royal charter granted in 1907. Construction of a new building in the civic complex of Cathays Park began in 1912, but owing to the First World War it did not open to the public until 1922, with the official opening taking place in 1927. The museum has collections of botany, fine and applied art, geology, and zoology.
The National Museum of Art opened in 2011. The collection of Old Master paintings in Cardiff includes, among other notable works, The Virgin and Child between Saint Helena and St Francis by Amico Aspertini, The Poulterer's Shop by Frans Snyders, A Calm by Jan van de Cappelle Since 2016, the museum has had Rembrandt's 1657 Portrait of Catharina Hooghsaet on permanent display.
There are also collections of landscape paintings, portraits, French art and works by all of the notable Welsh artists, including landscapes by Richard Wilson and the pioneering Thomas Jones. The collection of 20th-century art includes works by sculptors Jacob Epstein, Herbert Ward and Eric Gill and painters including Stanley Spencer, the British Impressionist Wynford Dewhurst, L. S. Lowry, and Oskar Kokoschka.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.