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European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Exclusive to Brisbane, this exhibition features everyone from Monet, van Gogh and Vermeer to Renoir, Rembrandt and Degas.
By Sarah Ward
May 08, 2021
By Sarah Ward
May 08, 2021

Visiting Europe sadly isn't on Australians' agendas in the near future. Heading to New York to wander through The Metropolitan Museum of Art isn't at the moment either. But, for four months this year, a heap of European art masterpieces from The Met are making the journey to our shores — so you'll be able to feast your eyes on some of the greatest paintings ever committed to canvas at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art.

From Friday, June 12–Sunday, October 17, 65 works that almost never leave The Met's galleries will grace GOMA's walls, in what'll be the venue's biggest-ever survey of the history of European art — and, it's a Brissie exclusive, too. If you're wondering why these paintings are so treasured, well, that's because they're by everyone from Monet, van Gogh and Vermeer to Renoir, Rembrandt and Degas.

The list of artists featuring in the exhibition, which covers a whopping 500 years of European art and is fittingly called European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, just keeps going — with Rubens, Poussin, Gauguin, Raphael, Boucher and Velazquez all included as well. Also impressive: the different types of artworks that'll be on display, spanning everything from portraits and still-life pieces to landscape paintings and figure studies.

From the full lineup, the earliest work will date back to 1445, courtesy of an altarpiece panel depicting the Crucifixion of Christ by the Florentine artist Fra Angelico. Also among the centuries-old highlights are Titian's Venus and Adonis from the 1550s, Caravaggio's The Musicians from 1597, Rembrandt's Flora from around 1654, and Vermeer's Allegory of the Catholic Faith. And, for works from the 19th-century impressionist and post-impressionist period, the likes of Monet, Renoir and van Gogh have things wrapped up — complete with Monet's 1919 piece Water Lilies.

GOMA's program will also feature hands-on digital and analogue activities to accompany the masterworks, plus — as is always the case with its major exhibitions — a lineup of yet-to-be-announced Up Late events that'll let you check out these art wonders after dark and over a few drinks.

'The Flowering Orchard' (1888) by Vincent van Gogh. The Mr and Mrs Henry Ittleson jr Purchase Fund 1956/56.13. Collection: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Top images: Water Lilies (1916-19) by Claude Monet. Gift of Louise Reinhardt Smith 1983/1983.532.; Still Life with Apples and Pears (1891-92) Bequest of Stephen C Clark 1960/61.101.3. Both collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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