Italian Masterpieces at the NGV
Travelling all the way from Spain’s royal court, the Italian Masterpieces arriving at the National Gallery of Victoria deserved nothing short of a truly spectacular launch.
Federal Minister of Arts, Honorary George Brandis, introduced it as the most ambitious exhibition the NGV has ever hosted. Together with the Winter Masterpieces Series, the Italian Masterpieces have helped Melbourne earn its reputation as Australia’s foremost art city.
The event was extravagant from start to finish. Luxury cars in Italian red and white were displayed out the front by event sponsor Mazda. Security detail and news cameras arrived first, followed by Pierce Brosnan, NGV Director Tony Ellwood and Museo del Prado’s Miguel Zugaza who all walked the red carpet with pride.
Though there was Penfolds wine, free flowing champagne and delicious canapes on offer, it was the exhibition and artwork that really shone. Tiepolo’s Immaculate Conception was projected onto the NGV façade as a teaser and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The exhibition spans seven rooms and over 100 works of art from the 16th to 18th centuries. Raphael, Titian, Tiepolo, Carracci, Tintoretto and Correggio are featured amongst the elite collection.
VIP guests included celebrities like Geoffrey Rush and Max Walker, curators, artisans, sponsors, Honorary Consuls and Melbourne’s elite families and influential people. As we browsed the three-metre-high masterpieces, a string quartet gently serenaded us. Utterly awestruck, this created a sublime ambience.
Many paintings have only travelled twice in their lives so it’s a huge privilege to be able to see them. The best way to learn about European art must be this unmissable Melbourne event. ☆