Run, don’t walk—it’s your last chance to see Botticelli to Van Gogh | HerCanberra

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Run, don’t walk—it’s your last chance to see Botticelli to Van Gogh

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We don’t mean to panic anyone, but if you have not yet visited the blockbuster Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London currently showing at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), then you better get your skates on.

In fact, there are only weekday sessions available before it closes on Monday 14 June, and judging by the popularity of the exhibition—which has sold out most weekends and all school holidays and has helped create 100 per cent weekend occupancy rates among a number of hotels throughout the season—you simply don’t want to miss it.

As the exhibition’s title might suggest, these priceless pieces are on loan from London’s National Gallery, with many of the works on display having never previously appeared in Australia.

The exhibition has surpassed the National Gallery of Australia’s expectations, drawing art lovers from around the country. And given the ban on international travel, it has provided a temporary relief for travel and culture-hungry visitors who have been transported to the National Gallery of London for a few hours to pore over iconic pieces including Rembrandt’s Self-portrait at the age of 34, 1640, Vermeer’s A young woman seated at a virginal c 1670 and Van Gogh’s much-loved Sunflowers 1888.

Installation view: John Constable. Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 1833-6. © The National Gallery, London. Bequeathed by Miss Isabel Constable as the gift of Maria Louisa Isabel and Lionel Bicknell Constable, 1888.

According to Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director, National Gallery, London, “To walk through the National Gallery is to journey through the history of picture-making in Western Europe, from the thirteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, and this exhibition aims to give a flavour of that experience.”

A quick side note on Sunflowers—it is one of the most spectacular artworks the HerCanberra team has ever seen hung in the gallery—it literally glows—and elicits gasps of appreciation as it comes into view. It simply must be seen in person to truly understand why it has become such an iconic work.

Installation view: Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from The National Gallery, London, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2021 featuring Paul Cézanne’s Hillside in Provence, c. 1890-92, Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers, 1888 and Paul Gauguin’s A Vase of Flowers, 1896. © National Gallery, London.

As National Gallery of Australia Director Nick Mitzevich puts it, “This exhibition is a 500-year slice of artistic excellence from some of the greatest creative spirits of all time.”

However, it won’t be long before these iconic works return to their rightful home. And with trips to London not looking likely for some time yet, reasons to make the short jaunt to Parkes are even more compelling.

Your visit will require a timed-ticket booked via Ticketek.

Our hot tip? The best availability for sessions is weekday afternoons—if you can make it. Don’t say you weren’t warned to get there in time!

Installation view: El Greco. Christ driving the Traders from the Temple. c. 1600. © The National Gallery, London. Presented by Sir J.C. Robinson, 1895.


What: Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London
When: Ends Monday 14 June
Where: National Gallery of Australia
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Feature image: Installation view, Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2021, featuring Vincent van Gogh. Sunflowers. 1888. © The National Gallery, London and Paul Cézanne. Hillside in Provence. c.1890–92. © The National Gallery, London.

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