On Thursday evening, a landmark show opens at the National Gallery of Canada: the first and only presentation in North America of paintings from the world-renowned Ordrupgaard collection.
Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection, on view until September 9, 2018, offers a survey of leading artistic movements in French painting from the beginning of the nineteenth century through to Impressionism and Post-impressionism, as well as works from the Danish Golden Age.
In one compelling presentation, the luminous landscapes of Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne, are displayed alongside the realist landscapes and hunting scenes of Gustave Courbet, the still-lifes of Édouard Manet and Henri Matisse, the intimate portraits of Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Paul Gauguin’s sensual paintings, as well as the unparalleled works from the Danish Golden Age, including those by C. W. Eckersberg and Christen Købke.
“This collection offers a spectacular panorama of the development of Impressionism, from the great Romantic colourist Eugène Delacroix, to the monumentality of Cézanne and the first glimmers of where Modern art would turn in the 20th century,” said National Gallery of Canada Director and CEO, Marc Mayer. “In addition to bringing this exceptional collection to Canada, it is worth noting that many of the artists represented in the show can also be found in our collection. This includes works by Vilhelm Hammershøi, one of the most important Scandinavian painters active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
The exhibition brings together 76 key paintings from Denmark’s renowned collection assembled by Wilhelm and Henny Hansen in the early 20th century, who created what is regarded as one of Europe’s most notable and beautiful survey of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.
Built between 1892 and 1931, the collection was kept in the family’s residence named Ordrupgaard, located in a suburb of Copenhagen. In 1918, motivated by a desire to promote French modern art, the influential Danish businessman and visionary opened the doors of his country house to the public one day a week. After his death, Hansen’s widow Henny bequeathed their home and the collection to the Danish state, which was then transformed into a museum in 1953.
The Canadian exhibition of the Ordrupgaard Collection is presented by the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with Ordrupgaard and organized by Associate Curator, Erika Dolphin. Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection is presented with the generous support of Dr. Paul Mandl and Mrs. Elsje Mandl.
Among the highlights of the exhibition are a portrait of George Sand by Eugène Delacroix; The Chailly Road through the Forest Fontainebleau, a landscape by Claude Monet; Basket of Pears, a still-life by Édouard Manet; Portrait of a Young Woman. Vaïte (Jeanne) Goupil, by Paul Gauguin; Women Bathing, by Paul Cézanne; and View from Frederiksborg Castle, by landscape painter Peter Christian Thamsen Skovgaard. The exhibition also features portraits by two of the best women Impressionist artists: Women with a Fan. Portrait of Madame Marie Hubbard, by Berthe Morisot; and The Convalescent. Portrait of a Woman in White, by Eva Gonzalès.
The 60 French paintings on view are organized chronologically, from the beginning of the 19th century to the very beginnings of the 20th century and grouped by artist. In some cases, as with Corot, Pissarro, Sisley and Gauguin, visitors will have the privilege of seeing six or more works from the same artist painted over the span of their careers.
This exhibition also brings to Canada a fine and rare selection of 16 paintings by leading Danish masters. This reflects how the collection was historically exhibited by the Hansens with French works in the purpose-built gallery attached to their home and the Danish works on the walls of their private quarters. The National Gallery’s own Hammershøi, Sunshine in the Drawing Room, will hang alongside these rarely seen works from Ordrupgaard.
The exhibition includes educational spaces designed to enrich the visitor experience. They present French and Danish art within an historical context and offer interactive activities focused around the colours used by the Impressionists.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 120-page hardcover bilingual catalogue written by National Gallery of Canada former Chief Curator Paul Lang. Complete with in-depth descriptions and full page illustrations, Impressionist Treasures surveys the great masters of Impressionism and Post-impressionism and the major trends of French painting that preceded them, such as the Barbizon School and Realism, through a collection regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe. On sale for the price of $25 at the Boutique and online, at ShopNGC.
On May 17, from 10 am to 5 pm, Members of the Gallery will have exclusive access to the exhibition. In the Special Exhibitions Galleries. Learn more about NGC Membership.
The public is invited to attend the official exhibition opening on Thursday, May 16, starting at 6 pm in the Scotiabank Great Hall of the National Gallery of Canada. Admission is free.
Meet the expert
On Saturday, May 19 at noon, visitors are invited to join Erika Dolphin, Associate Curator of the Gallery and organizing curator of Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection, for an insider’s look at this beautiful selection of French and Danish nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century paintings. In English with bilingual question period. In the Special Exhibitions Galleries. Included with admission to Impressionist Treasures.
On Thursday, May 24, from 5 pm to 8 pm, Members of the Gallery are invited to a special evening of exclusive activities inspired by the exhibition. To learn more.
Hours of operation
Until September 30, 2018, the Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm. Holiday exceptions apply, and hours are subject to change without notice. For more information, visit gallery.ca.
Tickets: $20 (adults); $18 (seniors); $12 (age 24 and under and full-time students); $40 (families: two adults and three youth, 17 and under). Admission is free for children under the age of 11 and for Members. Includes admission to the national collection, and all exhibitions. Free admission on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. To find out more.
Exhibitions catalogues are on sale at the Boutique, allowing visitors to revisit their favorite works of art for years to come. Also available online at ShopNGC.ca. Opens at 10 am daily. 15% off for Members.
NGCmagazine.ca is a beautifully illustrated online source of information about the Canadian and international art world, and the National Gallery of Canada’s activities and programming. This online magazine includes articles about upcoming and travelling exhibitions, behind the scenes features, artists’ profiles, book reviews and interviews. NGC Magazine is free and published here. Subscribe to the NGC Magazine newsletter here.
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About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan
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