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European Masterpieces from The Met at GOMA

We may not be able to travel to New York right now, but the good people of QAGOMA have brought a little bit of New York’s famous gallery to us.

The Australian exclusive ‘European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’ is now showing at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art until 17 October.

The exhibition takes art lovers on a journey through five centuries of European paintings from early Renaissance to the Impressionists. The exhibition covers a period of significant religious, societal and cultural change as it charts the most important movements of Western art history through 65 paintings by Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, Goya, van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet and others.

While our International borders remain closed, here’s a great way to escape, and immerse yourself in some European culture right here at home.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said ‘After several years of development and planning, we are thrilled to bring these extraordinary works of art from New York to Brisbane.’

Mr Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 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

Mr Saines said visitors will experience remarkable works that rarely leave permanent display in the United States, installed at GOMA in impressively designed, purpose-built spaces inspired by the motif of the arch in European architecture.

‘The show goes above-and-beyond a traditional masterpieces exhibition. In addition to engaging with these great works of art, visitors can also immerse themselves in The Studio, an expansive space at the heart of the exhibition which features a range of interpretive and interactive experiences including live music performances and figure drawing from 11:00 to 3:30pm daily.

The exhibition is told over three chapters. The first chapter of the exhibition, ’Devotion and Renaissance’, begins in 15th Century Italy and includes such highlights as Giovanni di Paolo’s Paradise 1445, a beautiful, imagined garden in heaven filled with saints and angels, where animals frolic and flowers bloom and The Crucifixion c.1420–23, a finely painted, emotionally charged altarpiece panel by Florentine artist Fra Angelico.

The second chapter, ‘Absolutism and Enlightenment’, traverses the Italian Baroque, Dutch Golden Age, French Rococo and Neoclassical movements. The gallery spaces evoke a sense of sumptuous, baroque grandeur and feature must-see works including Caravaggio’s allegory of music and love The Musicians of 1597; Rembrandt’s portrait Flora c.1654 and Johannes Vermeer’s elaborate Allegory of the Catholic Faith of c.1670-72.

The exhibition’s third and final chapter, ‘Revolution and Art for the People’, heralds the new Modern era of artistic freedom where the radical notion of the creatively independent artist took hold. Included are works such as Paul Cézanne’s Still Life with Apples and Pears c.1891–92; Vincent van Gogh’s The Flowering Orchard1888 and Water Lilies 1916–19, a late work by Claude Monet that captures the artist’s 30-year, 250-painting obsession with his garden in Giverny, France.

The ever-popular Up Late events are back too with a celebration on Saturday 28 August featuring live music, DJs, bars, dining and more.

‘European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’ is now showing at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art until 17 October 2021. Tickets to the exhibition are on sale now.

Make it an art-lovers weekend getaway and book your Brisbane accommodation here.

Images: supplied by QAGOMA
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