Art Gallery of Western Australia Announces Princely Treasures European Masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Art Gallery of Western Australia presents Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Opens Saturday 24 September 2011.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London has one of the greatest collections of European decorative art of the 17th and 18th centuries, from the miniature to the monumental. Over ninety masterpieces from these magnificent collections have been selected for this exhibition, including painting and sculpture, ceramics and glass, metalwork and furniture, textiles and dress, prints and drawings.

They were acquired and used by European men and women of power, wealth and taste. Many were made by Europe’s finest artists and craftsmen, using precious materials from around the world. They come from all corners of the continent – from Britain and France, Italy and Germany, Russia and Spain, Austria and Belgium, Holland and Sweden.

The exhibition presents a series of themes encapsulating important aspects of courtly life in Europe. It begins with an opening section looking at power and patronage in Europe between 1600 and 1800, presenting key figures from European courts who were great patrons of the arts. The following sections focus on four different aspects of courtly life: the importance of war; the role of religion; the peaceful arts of the domestic interior and the magnificence of personal adornment.

Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum is accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition book, available to purchase from the Art Gallery Shop.

Image: François Boucher Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (1721– 64) France, 1758 Oil on Canvas V&A: 487-1882 ©Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Images

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