Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch today announced ‘European Masterpieces’ would offer local and visiting audiences a remarkable survey of 500 years of European art from The Met’s collection.
‘This incredibly exciting exhibition for Queensland, curated by The Met in New York in consultation with QAGOMA, will feature works by some of the greatest painters of all time, including Rembrandt, Turner, van Gogh, Monet and many more,’ Minister Enoch said.
‘The Palaszczuk Government is delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery and by bringing this exhibition exclusively to our state, we are boosting our economy and enhancing our reputation as a centre for visual arts events of the highest calibre.’
Presented by QAGOMA in partnership with Art Exhibitions Australia, ‘European Masterpieces’ features 65 paintings charting Western art history’s most iconic movements and will also include works by Titian, Raphael, Goya, Vermeer, Cézanne and others.
Visitors to the exhibition can see the finely painted, emotionally charged altarpiece panel depicting the Crucifixion of Christ by the Florentine artist Fra Angelico; Titian’s poetic Venus and Adonis of the 1550s; Caravaggio’s lyrical The Musicians of 1597; Rembrandt’s painterly Flora of c.1654; and Vermeer’s elaborate Allegory of the Catholic Faith of c.1670-72, together with outstanding nineteenth century impressionist and post-impressionist paintings by Monet, Renoir, van Gogh and more.
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines CNZM said ‘European Masterpieces’ would begin in the 1420s, with a drama-filled panel painting, The Crucifixion by Fra Angelico, and end in 1919 with one of Monet’s late Water Lilies, a precursor to abstraction.
‘The exhibition traces the development of art and artists from a time when creativity was closely controlled through the patronage of church and state, to a period in which our contemporary idea of the independent artist was born,’ Mr Saines said.
‘As this superbly representative historical account of European painting makes clear, artistic innovation – seen in works of art that have challenged and sometimes changed the world – is far from an invention of our time.
‘It’s a major coup for Brisbane and an extraordinary opportunity for our audiences to experience these important works from one of the finest collections of European painting in the world, the majority of which rarely leave permanent display in New York.’
Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Max Hollein said the exhibition presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in which The Met—during the renovation of their galleries for European paintings—could share these masterpieces with the people in Australia.
‘It brings great joy to see such magnificent paintings, and the many stories they tell, come to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art,’ Mr Hollein said.
‘European Masterpieces’ will be accompanied by a public program, Up Late program as well as a major publication.
‘European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’ is supported by the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) Program. This program provides funding for the purchase of insurance for significant cultural exhibitions. Without AGIEI, the high cost of insuring significant cultural items would prohibit this major exhibition from touring to Australia.