THE inaugural international winter blockbuster exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery will come from London’s National Portrait Gallery, it was announced today (December 10).
It’s an Australian exclusive. “Love Stories” will be officially launched in Australia before an international tour, and is one of the first of the National Portrait Gallery London’s collection exhibitions to tour while the gallery is closed for three years to undergo a major renovation.
The show will include portraits of some of the world’s best-known couples from the 16th century through to the present day, from King Charles II and his mistress Barbara Palmer, to Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Gertrude Stein and Alice B.Toklas, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and Prince Harry and Meghan.
NPG director, Karen Quinlan, described the exhibition as “a fantastic collaboration between two of the world’s great portrait galleries and the first in an ambitious new annual program that celebrates portraiture in all its forms”.s of it –
“Portraiture has always been closely connected to the notion of love and desire, from highly staged marriage portraits of the 16th century through to contemporary wedding photos,” she said, adding that the show, covering five centuries of art, highlights the multi-faceted and often complex nature of love and the way social mores around love had changed through time.
Central to the exhibition is a series of real-love stories, grouped thematically, in which various aspects of romantic love are explored – and the role of portraits within it.
As well there will be a specially curated exhibition of Australian love-stories, including newly commissioned portraits.
The director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, Nicholas Cullinan, said: “It is wonderful to be collaborating with our peer institution in Australia to present the world premiere of ‘Love Stories’ in Canberra.”
“Love Stories,” National Portrait Gallery, opening June 2020. Tickets on sale from February 14.