Media Release – 21 December 2011

The National Gallery of Australia is now showing Renaissance – 15th & 16th Century Italian Paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo. As the Gallery’s major summer exhibition, Renaissance offers a unique opportunity to see paintings by great Italian Masters including Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Mantegna -.artists whose works have never been seen in Australia before. In conjunction with Renaissance, the National Gallery of Australia has a wonderful array of events on offer to ensure all visitors to the exhibition are catered for throughout the summer holidays.

Premium experiences, fabulous public programs, classes and talks and the chic Sculpture Bar are a welcome addition to the Renaissance offering, and the Yulgilbar Family Activity Room will ensure even the littlest of Gallery visitors are entertained and inspired.

For true art aficionados and anyone with a passion for the Italian Renaissance, the Gallery has done a stellar job arranging a comprehensive program of free talks and lectures, a masterclass series, performances and film screenings and more.

Highlights include the Renaissance Masterclass series. Held on Wednesdays from 22 February to 28 March from 6.00–8.00 pm, the six-week series is hosted by key academics and experts in Renaissance art, and is ideal for enthusiasts who want to delve deeply into the rich artistic content of the exhibition. The public can also attend regular free talks and lectures held throughout the exhibition, and there will be live performances including Love in Venice by The Song Company on Sunday 4 March.

For Renaissance devotees who want a more exclusive experience when viewing the exhibition, Premium Session tickets are available on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors can enjoy breakfast in the Sculpture Garden Restaurant from 8am, and avoid the crowds with access to the exhibition at 9am before the Gallery is open to the public. Premium Session tickets are $50 and spaces are limited.

And to add a splash of bubbles to the Renaissance experience, visitors can head to the Sculpture Bar which is open every Friday from 5pm in the glorious surrounds of the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden. In association with the world famous Champagne brand Veuve Clicquot, Sculpture Bar provides the perfect start to the weekend. An extensive beverage and tapas menu designed by the Gallery’s Chef James Kidman can be enjoyed in the beautiful surrounds, and guests can relax to the tunes of Canberra’s best DJ’s. From Friday 20 January, Renaissance is open until 7pm, providing the perfect opportunity to view the exhibition, and then enjoy a drink with friends afterwards in the Sculpture Bar.

Children and families have not been forgotten. They can enrich their experience with the Children’s Discovery Trail (a dedicated guide to the exhibition just for kids), special school holiday programs and the Family Activity Room within the exhibition. The Family Room features activities facilitated by qualified staff (suitable for children aged 3 – 10 years and their families). Fun activities include drawing, drama, stories, puzzles and games related to the life and work of the artists featured in the exhibition. Entry to the Family Room is included in the exhibition ticket.

Renaissance – 15th & 16th Century Italian Paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, is on show only until 9 April 2012. Tickets are on sale from the front desk of the National Gallery of Australia or online at www.ticketek.com.au/renaissance For more information visit www.nga.gov.au/renaissance For further details on all talks and lectures, performances, master class topics and lecturers, see www.nga.gov.au/WhatsOn/Highlights

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