25 January 2021

See the world's most iconic Sunflowers at National Gallery exhibition

| Michael Weaver
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Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers, 1888.

Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers 1888 © The National Gallery, London. Image: Supplied.

The most famous sunflowers in the world are on their way to Canberra in March 2021.

Vincent van Gogh’s 1888 still-life oil on canvas painting, simply titled Sunflowers, will undoubtedly be the drawcard of the exclusive Canberra season of ‘Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London’, which opens on 5 March at the National Gallery of Australia.

Tickets went on sale in December, giving audiences a first-hand opportunity to see many of the works that have defined Western art history, including van Gogh’s much-loved Sunflowers.

Another highlight will be Four Scenes From the Early Life of Saint Zenobius, painted by Sandro Botticelli more than 500 years ago.

Image of 'Four scenes from the early life of Saint Zenobius'.

Sandro Botticelli’s Four Scenes From the Early Life of Saint Zenobius, c1500. © The National Gallery, London. Image: Supplied.

The exhibition from the National Gallery in London is the first major international exhibition in Australia since COVID-19 closed international borders in March 2020.

The 60 works in the exhibition are the largest number ever to travel outside of the United Kingdom in the National Gallery’s 192-year history.

National Gallery of Australia director Nick Mitzevich said there had never been a better time to bring the joy and inspiration of a work such as Sunflowers to Australian audiences.

“Van Gogh’s Sunflowers is a work that has captivated international audiences for more than a century,” he said. “It is one of the high points of 500 years of European art-making.

“At a time when Australian audiences are unable to travel overseas, we are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors to Canberra to see this exclusive showcase of world-class art.”

The director of the National Gallery, London, Gabriele Finaldi, said the exhibition ranged from masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, through the age of the European Baroque, to highlights of British painting and early 20th century Post-Impressionism.

“To walk through the National Gallery is to journey through the history of picture-making in Western Europe, from the 13th century to the beginning of the 20th century, and this exhibition and catalogue aims to give a flavour of that experience,” he said.

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Presented in partnership with the National Gallery, London, and Art Exhibitions Australia, ‘Botticelli to van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London’ also features paintings by some of Europe’s most admired artists including Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Renoir, Cézanne, Turner and Gauguin.

‘Botticelli to van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London’ opens for its exclusive Canberra season at the National Gallery of Australia on 5 March, 2021, and runs until 14 June, 2021.

Bookings for a timed and COVID-19-safe visit will need to be made via the National Gallery of Australia website.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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