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Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate

This major exhibition will feature 40 of the Tate's beloved works, including iconic pieces such as John Everett Millais’ 'Ophelia' and John William Waterhouse’s 'The Lady of Shalott'.
By Sarah Ward
November 19, 2018
By Sarah Ward
November 19, 2018

New York's Museum of Modern Art isn't the only major international gallery to bring its wares to our shores this year, with an exhibition from London's Tate Britain gallery heading to Australia from December. Entitled Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate and displaying from December 14, 2018 until April 28, 2019, it'll bring more than 40 of the Tate's beloved works to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, in an exhibition that'll focus on the artistic movement that started in 1848.

Iconic pieces such as John Everett Millais' Ophelia and John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott will be making the journey as part of the showcase. Part ode to early Renaissance efforts, part protest against the prevailing creative traditions of the mid-19th century, pre-Raphaelite art was sparked by a group of rebellious artists eager to create something different to the art of the time — and their preferred style, featuring detailed, colourful compositions painted in thin layers with small brushes, certainly managed that. In addition to the pieces from the Tate, the exhibition will also feature an additional 40 works loaned from other British and Australian collections.

Each will help highlight the themes of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, examine the different styles adopted by the various artists adhering to its principles, stress the importance of draughtsmanship and emphasise the movement's fondness for collaboration. "This exhibition includes some of the most loved and visited paintings at Tate — some of which have never before been seen in Australia," said NGA director Nick Mitzevich.

Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate will be the NGA's major summer exhibition, although it's not the gallery's only new addition come the end of the year, with Yayoi Kusama's pumpkin-filled infinity room The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens set to join its permanent collection in December.

Images: John Everett Millais, Ophelia 1851-2. Oil paint on canvas. Tate collection presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894. © Tate. / John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott 1888. Oil on canvas. Tate. © Tate.

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