Sunday, 26 February 2017

London Calling | Gallery B

Sunday, February 26, 2017 - Gallery B – which was designed by architects Purcell – adds an additional 200 square metres of display space to the main Wilkins Building of the  National Gallery in London. This will be the first new gallery space created at the National Gallery in 26 years.and opens up the ground floor.

This creates a direct public route from the Portico Entrance on Trafalgar Square through to the Pigott Education Centre Entrance on Orange Street (at the rear of the Gallery).For the first time, visitors can now explore all of the Ground Floor Galleries and progress up to the Main Floor whilst enjoying a continuous viewing experience.It is intended that these now interconnected galleries will host a wide range of education programmed activities along with special displays and exhibitions. The launch of Gallery B also marks the daily opening of Gallery A, previously open every Wednesday afternoon and one Sunday per month.Gallery B opens with 'Rubens and Rembrandt', a special display of paintings by the Flemish artist Rubens hung opposite works by his Dutch counterpart, Rembrandt, creating a dynamic visual dialogue between these two great 17th-century masters. The innovative hang demonstrates the potential of this new gallery space for exceptional displays that offer different ways of exploring the National Gallery Collection.Though the two masters probably never met in person, their works meet face-to-face in this inaugural hang of Gallery B, which includes nine works by Rubens and 11 paintings by Rembrandt from the National Gallery’s extensive collection of Dutch and Flemish art. Both Rubens and Rembrandt were prolific artists, who produced works of great sensitivity and emotional charge. Indeed, it has been argued that Rembrandt was influenced by Rubens’s remarkable artistry and personal charisma in forming his own identity within the grand lineage of master painters. An avid collector; it is recorded that Rembrandt later owned a painting by Rubens. This new installation testifies to the breadth of these two artists’ careers, whose bodies of work encompass history paintings, landscapes, portraiture and more.Additionally, dynamic drawings by contemporary painter Frank Auerbach, inspired by the works of Rembrandt and Rubens, will be on view in the Gallery B Lobby and Espresso Bar.

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