News - Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London


A new exhibition Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London is now open in Tokyo's National Museum of Western Art but you can get a sneak peek at the exhibition in an online curated tour...

Press Release

The display of an unprecedented loan of outstanding works spanning 450 years of art history was originally due to open on 3 March (until 14 June), but was postponed when the museum closed as a precautionary measure in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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 our 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 1670–2 and Vincent van Gogh’s 'Sunflowers' (1888), which will be seen in Japan for the first time.

Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London marks a significant moment in the Gallery’s near 200-year history. It comprises the largest selection of our 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.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, London said '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.'

People can also explore 'Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London' without even having to leave their own homes. A 30-minute tour of the exhibition with curator Yusuke Kawase of the National Museum of Western Art and Christine Riding, Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department at the National Gallery, has been created by the British Council



After Tokyo, 'Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London' will travel to the National Museum of Art, Osaka, opening on 3 November 2020 (and running until 31 January 2021).

This Japanese touring exhibition is made possible by a partnership with the Yomiuri Shimbun, one of the largest media organisations in Japan.

Renamed 'Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London' the exhibition will conclude its tour at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 5 March – 14 June 2021.

Image - Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1888, Oil on canvas, 92.1 x 73 cm ©The National Gallery, London. Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1924.