National Gallery of Australia launched its major summer exhibition, Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate, opening in December and exclusive to Canberra. Speaking from Tate Britain in London, NGA Director Nick Mitzevich said the exhibition includes some of the most iconic paintings of its period including John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott.

‘This exhibition includes some of the most loved and visited paintings at Tate – some of which have never before been seen in Australia,’ said Mr Mitzevich.

‘Tate and the National Gallery of Australia have a long and affectionate relationship—and a shared purpose to make art both accessible and relevant to diverse and growing audiences,’ said Maria Balshaw, Director Tate. ‘It is with great anticipation that we see these much-loved masterpieces from Tate Britain travel to Canberra to be enjoyed by a new generation of visitors in another part of the world.’

Alongside more than 40 of Tate Britain’s best-loved works, a further 40 loans from British and Australian collections will show the themes of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in this expansive exhibition through this unsurpassed collection. Forming a stunning survey of the Pre-Raphaelite movement , this exhibition explores, the differing styles of the artists, the importance of draughtsmanship and the collaborative work involved in the applied arts central to the movement.

The movement was formed in 1848 by a group of rebellious young artists who set out to emulate the spirit of early Renaissance art in protest against what they regarded as the mundane conventions of the day. These artists adopted a radical style, painting directly from the motif in brilliant, clear colours, and building each form in thin layers with small brushes.

Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate opens 14 December exclusively at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. The exhibition is co-curated by Carol Jacobi, Curator of British Art 1850–1915 at Tate Britain and Lucina Ward, Senior Curator, International Painting and Sculpture at the NGA.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Strategic Partner Visit Canberra, Qantas, Seven, Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) and exhibition patrons Kay Bryan, Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, Lady Potter AC, John Schaeffer AO & Bettina Dalton, Andrew Sisson AO & Tracey Sisson.

Visit Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate at the NGA

Miriam Grundy