Culture Buff

European Masterpieces from The MMA, New York at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art

5 June 2021

9:00 AM

5 June 2021

9:00 AM

This is a very active period for the visual arts. The Archibald Prize finalists have been announced, Vivid is returning, there are major international exhibitions in Melbourne and Canberra, and Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art will be presenting European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This promises to be a glamorous and fascinating exhibition. It is presented by QAGOMA in partnership with Art Exhibitions Australia and the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance Program.

It is partly an unexpected effect of the Covid pandemic that so many wonderful paintings are available to come to Australia, although in this case, the Met’s renovation work on its European galleries is the main factor. The exhibition traces the development of artistic innovation from Fra Angelico’s The Crucifixion (1420s) to Monet’s Water Lilies (1919).  Works by Titian, Raphael, Goya, Vermeer, Renoir, van Gogh, and Cézanne are included in this wonderfully lush collection.

One of the images being used to promote the exhibition is The Fortune Teller,  an arrestingly beautiful painting by Georges de La Tour from the 1630s. Born in 1593, his output was forgotten until well into the 20th century.  He is now particularly celebrated for his later depictions of candlelit scenes.  It is especially touching that he and his family died in 1652 in an epidemic.

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