New Frame for Italian Painting
A painting by Bellini, which is a favourite amongst thousands of visitors to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, is about to get a new frame before going into a major new exhibition of Glasgow’s Italian Art. ‘Madonna and Child’ will form part of Essence of Beauty: 500 years of Italian Art which opens at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on April 6.
The new frame for the painting has been paid for by the Friends of Glasgow Museums. The organisation has been running for more than 60 years with the aim of supporting Glasgow Museums and fostering interest in the arts in Glasgow. It regularly contributes to the purchase of items for Glasgow’s Collection and started the volunteer guide service for Glasgow Museums.
The exhibition is a unique exploration of five centuries of Italian Art paintings held in Glasgow’s collection. Essence of Beauty: 500 years of Italian Art features masterpieces from the late fourteenth century onwards, all displayed together for the first time. The exhibition then moves to Compton Verney Art Gallery in England before embarking on a tour of venues in North America.
Essence of Beauty: 500 years of Italian Art runs until 12 August 2012 and is a chronological exploration of Glasgow’s collection of Italian Art paintings. A new scholarly catalogue of the collection which has been described as ‘the finest and also the most comprehensive held by a civic museum in the UK’ is also being published.
A further aim is to emphasise the important roles of the collectors who have given to Glasgow, such as Archibald McLellan who built up his collection of paintings not according to personal whim but according to enlightened philanthropic and educational principles. Conceiving his private collection as the future of a public collection worthy of Glasgow’s status as Britain’s second city, McLellan consciously sought to acquire representative examples of all the main schools of Italy, and in all the main periods of development.
Several works in the exhibition are undisputed masterpieces, painted by some of the great names of Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting – Bellini, Titian, Rosa and Botticelli. The inclusion of decorative art, armour, sculpture, Venetian glass and rare ceramics will give visitors an opportunity to understand the range of objects being created during the period and provide further social and political context for the paintings.
Elizabeth Dent, Chairwoman of the Friends of Glasgow Museum, said: “For more than 60 years we have been supporting the work of Glasgow Museums by contributing funds towards acquisitions and supporting exhibitions, projects and events as well as founding the volunteer guide service. We are delighted to have been able to provide this beautiful new frame for one of Kelvingrove’s best loved works of art which will help show it to its full potential for generations to come.”
A major conservation project is being undertaken by Glasgow Museums to prepare more than 40 paintings for the exhibition before it tours to England and then the USA. The public has also had an opportunity to support the work going into this exhibition by contributing to the public appeal.