Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art to present European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2021

The-Met-Claude-Monet-Water-Lilies-1916-19Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) will be the exclusive Australian venue for the major exhibition European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from 12 June 2021.

On announcing the exhibition, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said 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,” said Minister Enoch.

“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,” she said.

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.Fra-Angelico-The-Crucifixion-c.1420–23

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,” said Mr Saines.

“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,” said Mr Saines.

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,” said Mr Hollein.


European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York will be on display at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art from 12 June to 17 October 2021. For more information, visit: www.qagoma.qld.gov.au for details.

Images: Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1916 – 19, Oil on canvas 130.2 x 200.7cm. Gift of Louise Reinhardt Smith 1983-1983.532 / Fra Angelico, The Crucifixion, c.1420 – 23 Tempera on wood, gold ground 63.8 x 48.3cm Maitland F Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F Griggs 1943-43.98.5. Collection: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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