MiSociety May 21st, 2014
Melbourne, 15th May 2014
Italian Masterpieces Opening Night at the NGV
Story: Renee Stah
Italian Masterpieces opens at the NGV. Embraced by artistic genius.
Italian Masterpieces opening night was a spectacular event at the National Gallery of Victoria on Thursday evening 15th May 2014.
Federal Minister of Arts, Honorary George Brandis, introduced Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado, as the most ambitious exhibition the NGV has ever hosted. Italian Masterpieces forms part of the Winter Masterpieces Series, which has deservingly earned Melbourne the reputation of ‘Australia’s foremost art city’.
Upon arriving to the gallery, it was evident we were about to be part of an extravagant affair. Security was in full force and the Seven News camera crew were among the first to arrive. Mazda, the exhibition’s official sponsor, showcased two new cars at the front of the gallery in Italian colours red and white. Tiepolo’s Immaculate Conception on the gallery façade was a tender preview of the works that awaited us inside.
NGV Director Tony Ellwood and Museo del Prado’s Miguel Zugaza walked the red carpet with pride for the exhibition they were about to unveil.
Pierce Brosnan’s appearance had cameras flashing in frenzy and guests chatting away in excitement. In his stylish blue suit and piercing blue eyes, Brosnan now 60, carried the same poise, sophistication and appeal he portrayed as the inamorato James Bond 007.
Penfolds wine, free flowing champagne and delicious canapés were offered in the NGV’s Great Hall, which had been styled with soft lighting to enhance digital images of selected Italian Masterpieces and the Hall’s wondrous stained glass ceiling; one of the largest in the world. VIP guests included celebrities, curators, artisans, sponsors, Honorary Consuls and Melbourne’s elite families and most influential people.
As guests walked through the prodigious exhibition, a string quartet played music that perfectly complemented the ambience created by three metre high embracing masterpieces.
Geoffrey Rush reveled the art, as did Max Walker and other celebrities of the big screen, television and radio. Vince Colossimo is the voice for the audio guide at stations throughout the gallery and for those who wanted to take the art home, a beautiful Italian Masterpieces book was available for sale at the gallery bookshop.
Italian Masterpieces is exhibited across seven rooms and includes over one hundred works from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries by Raphael, Titian, Tiepolo, Carracci, Tintoretto and Correggio.
Museo Nacional del Prado, from where Italian Masterpieces is loaned, is Spain’s most important gallery. Many of its paintings including Raphael’s Holy Family with Saint John (or Madonna of the Rose) have only travelled twice in their lifetime, once to Paris and now to Winter Masterpieces in Melbourne.
If you haven’t already seen Italian Masterpieces in Spain, or planned a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria this winter, be sure to not miss out. It really is a grand experience and a beautiful way to learn about European art. Writer: Renee Stah.