London's National Gallery collection goes on global tour

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An exhibition showcasing masterpieces from London's National Gallery will open at the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo on June 18, as part of its touring exhibition in Japan, and subsequently in Australia.

The exhibition of some sixty paintings, ranging from the Italian Renaissance to the beginning of the 20th century, provides a comprehensive insight into the history of the Gallery's collection, and provides visitors in Japan and Australia with the opportunity to experience the quality and breadth of the National Gallery's Collection. Highlights include Rembrandt's Self Portrait at the Age of 34 (1640), Vermeer's A Young Woman seated at a Virginal (about 1670–72) and Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers (1888), which will be seen in Japan for the first time.

It marks a significant moment in the Gallery's nearly 200-year history. It comprises the largest selection of its paintings to tour internationally. Sharing these exceptional works with Japan and Australia will enable visitors to get to know one of the world's greatest collections of art in the Western European tradition, it said.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, London says "We are delighted that our exhibition will finally be seen by visitors in Tokyo, Osaka and Canberra. This is the largest group of works to travel outside the United Kingdom in our history so this is an unprecedented opportunity to share the breadth of our collection and expertise with the world. We hope we will inspire in everyone who comes to the exhibition a passion for these great paintings."

The display of an unprecedented loan of outstanding works spanning 450 years of art history was originally due to open on March 3, but was postponed when the museum closed as a precautionary measure in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.

People can also explore the exhibition virtually with a 30-minute tour. After Tokyo, the paintings will travel to the National Museum of Art, Osaka and Canberra, concluding next year.

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