National Gallery celebrates 125 years with rare Renaissance show
Ottawa,Canada - January 20, 2005
From the Renaissance to the Sixties and beyond, 2005 is shaping up to be a historic year for the National Gallery of Canada. The venerable art institution is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a slew of extraordinary exhibitions, art installations and activities in Ottawa and across Canada.
At the top of the list is the much-anticipated summer exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence, presented by Bell Canada at the National Gallery from 29 May until 5 September 2005. It will feature some 125 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints by Florentine masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea del Sarto, Bronzino and Piero di Cosimo.
“Florence from about 1500 to 1550 is one of the most outstanding periods in the entire history of art,” says Dr. David Franklin, Chief Curator at the National Gallery and curator of the exhibition. “We’re pleased to collaborate with such prestigious institutions as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the National Galleries in London and Washington, and even the Vatican to bring these exquisite works to Ottawa.”
”The majority of these works have never before travelled to North America, let alone been seen together in one place,” says Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. “Given the rarity and value of the objects considered for loan, Ottawa will be the only venue for Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence.”
One of the highlights of the exhibition, besides the rare opportunity to see works by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, will be Jacopo Pontormo’s drawing Reclining Male Nude, one of the National Gallery’s most important recent acquisitions.
The Gallery and its Foundation are pleased to welcome Bell Canada as the presenting sponsor of the exhibition. Bell Canada is a longtime supporter of the National Gallery through the popular Bell Audioguide program, and is a Founding Partner of the NGC Foundation.
“We are delighted to celebrate the National Gallery of Canada’s 125th anniversary this year, which coincides with our own 125th celebrations, by helping bring this superb exhibition to Ottawa,” says Mirko Bibic, Chief Regulatory Affairs at Bell Canada. “The Renaissance in Florence exhibit presents a unique opportunity to see many Italian masterpieces right here in Canada and is a fitting way to mark our 125th anniversaries.”
Other major National Gallery exhibitions this year include The Sixties in Canada (4 February – 24 April), ItuKiagâtta! Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of the TD Bank Financial Group (23 March – 5 June), British Drawings from the National Gallery of Canada (22 April – 14 August), and Christopher Pratt (30 September 2005 – 8 January 2006).
After their presentations in Ottawa, both ItuKiagâtta! and British Drawings will travel to other venues across the country, adding to the National Gallery of Canada’s extensive travelling exhibition program, which makes great works of art available to all Canadians. This year, the National Gallery’s travelling exhibition program will reach hundred of thousands of Canadians in 30 communities.
Part of this dynamic travelling exhibition program is the presentation, for the third summer in a row, of a National Gallery exhibition at La Cité de l’énergie. The Elements of Nature, from 11 June to 2 October, will highlight sculpture by renowned international artists inspired by the forms and forces of nature. The show will include contemporary works from the national collection as well as from lenders in Canada, the United States and Europe.
Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence and the 125th Anniversary of the Gallery will be celebrated on Saturday 28 May with a national fundraising ball organized by the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. The Renaissance Ball will bring together distinguished group of philanthropists and leaders from the arts, government and business communities.
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