UK's National Gallery launches first exhibition in China
The exhibition "Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery" opened at the Shanghai Museum on Tuesday. It is the United Kingdom National Gallery's first-ever exhibition in China and will run through May 7, according to Xinhua news agency.
"We're thrilled to work together to bring the masterpieces from the National Gallery to Shanghai, to share its prestigious collection of western art with Chinese audiences for the first time," Dr Chu Xiaobo, director of the Shanghai Museum, told the Gallery.
The exhibition of 52 paintings by artists such as Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Constable, Monet, and Van Gogh, is on a tour of Asia this year and early 2024. Two more venues will be announced soon.
There are eight sections – Botticelli and Painting in 15th-Century Italy, Raphael and the Italian High Renaissance, Gossaert and the Northern Renaissance, Caravaggio and Baroque painting in Italy and Spain, Rembrandt and 17th-Century Painting in Northern Europe, Canaletto and European Painting in the 18th Century, Van Gogh and the Impressionists, and Turner and Painting in Britain.
Key loan pieces include Sandro Botticelli, Three Miracles of Saint Zenobius (about 1500); Raphael, The Garvagh Madonna (about 15010–11); Jan Gossaert, A Young Princess (about 1530–2); Caravaggio, Boy bitten by a Lizard (about 1594–5); Rembrandt, Self Portrait at the Age of 63 (1669); Canaletto, Venice: Entrance to the Cannaregio (probably 1734–42); Van Gogh, Long Grass with Butterflies (1890); Claude Monet, Irises (about 1914-1917); John Constable, Stratford Mill (1820); and Turner, The Parting of Hero and Leander (before 1837).
This series builds on the successful tour to Australia and Japan in 2020 and 2021, which was enjoyed by more than 700,000 people, along with numerous other ongoing National Gallery activities in the Asia region, including learning and retail experiences, plus digital and brand partnerships.
"I am delighted that the National Gallery is building on its highly successful tours of Australia and Japan and reaching new audiences across Asia and internationally," Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, said.
The exhibition is one of the activities to celebrate the National Gallery's 200 years since its founding in 1824.
Chu said that as a museum housing top-class Chinese art, the Shanghai Museum is proud to have embraced and demonstrated other civilizations and arts across the globe in the past half-century. This exhibition would be the most ambitious project to present so many big names in western art history and gather their great works for the first time on China's mainland.