Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 6.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 6 2011 - 18
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Italian artworks' renaissance
National Gallery of Australia exhibition assistant
Simeran Maxwell and curator Christine Dixon
prepare for this summer's Renaissance
Picture: Elesa Lee
THIS summer visitors are expected to
flock to the capital as the National
Gallery of Australia brings yet another
epic exhibition to Canberra.
The four-month exhibition titled
Renaissance -- 15th & 16th Century
Italian Paintings from the Accademia
Carrara, Bergamo, will open on
Among more than 70 works from the
Renaissance era, the exhibition will
include pieces from Italian artists
Titian, Rafael, Botticelli and Bellini.
The paintings -- all of which have
never left Europe -- have been loaned by
the National Gallery of Australia while
the Accademia Carrara is closed for
Coordinating curator of the
exhibition, Christine Dixon, said it was
not an easy task to bring the works to
"The director heard that the
Accademia Carrara in Bergamo was
going to be refurbished and so he asked
if we could loan them," she said.
"They were a bit dubious about
sending their precious works
overseas ... but through talking and
negotiating and showing them the other
exhibitions we'd had, they finally
After obtaining the gallery's
permission, the National Gallery was
then required to get approval from the
province of Lombardy and the Italian
"So it's the generosity of the Italian
people and the Italian government that
have allowed this to happen," Dixon
"We're very excited. This exhibition,
we don't have anything like it in the
country ... no works of many of the
artists have even come here before.
"None of the works have left Europe
before and a lot of them have never even
Dixon recently visited the Accademia
Carrara to select the final pieces.
"It is a great honour to be in the
Lombardy province and pick up a
Raphael -- with gloves I might admit,"
Bellini's Madonna and Child (The
Alzano Madonna) will be among the
works set to hit Canberra and Dixon
says it will take your breath away.
"I saw it in the fairly dim storage
room in Milan and everyone just
stopped still. It was a revelation, it was
so beautiful," she said.
"Photos never do them justice. It's
just an experience to see works that are
between 400 and 600 years old."
The exhibition is expected to follow in
the successful footsteps of other
blockbusters from the National Gallery
of Australia such as Masterpieces from
Paris and Degas. The ACT Government
has allocated $500,000 to help the
National Gallery market the event.
The Gallery will have timed ticketing
in place from the start of the exhibition to
Tickets are now available from the
front desk of the National Gallery of
Australia or online at
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