Top Art Exhibitions: May 2017

Welcome to the May edition of our monthly Top Art Exhibitions feature, where we line up the best exhibitions happening around the world. 18th and 19th century art seem to be the trend this month, with a number of exhibitions about these periods opening across Europe and the US. If you’re interested in something a bit more modern, May also sees the opening of big exhibitions on fashion and interior design. Looking for inspiring ways to spend this month’s Bank Holidays? We’ve got you covered. 

Maurice Denis and Eugene Delacroix

3 May – 28 August

Musee National Eugene Delacroix, Paris

The Muses, 1893 (oil on canvas), Maurice Denis (1870-1943) / Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France
The Muses, 1893 (oil on canvas), Maurice Denis (1870-1943) / Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France

This exhibition evaluates the influence of Eugene Delacroix, the master of French romanticism in the early nineteenth century, on the works of Maurice Denis, a leading figure of the later Symbolist movement. This exhibition, which contains both paintings and material from the Museum’s archive, not only showcases Delacroix’ great impact on painters of later generations, but also gives a glimpse into the history of the Museum itself, which Denis helped found.

 

Rembrandt and Jan Six: the etching and the friendship

6 May – 3 September

Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam

Jan Six, 1647 (etching), Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-69) / Private Collection
Jan Six, 1647 (etching), Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-69) / Private Collection

This exhibition focuses on Rembrandt’s famous etching of his friend and patron Jan Six, whose art collection was already renowned during his lifetime. This exhibition explores the relationship and friendship between artist and patron, as well as the sheer beauty and quality of one of Rembrandt’s graphic masterpieces.

 

Interiors

6 May – 29 October

Fondazione Maxxi, Rome

Up5 Donna and Up6, 1994 (upholstered lounge chair and ottoman), Gaetano Pesce (b.1939) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie's Images
Up5 Donna and Up6, 1994 (upholstered lounge chair and ottoman), Gaetano Pesce (b.1939) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images

What’s not to love about Italian design? Drawing on their own renowned collections, Rome’s Fondazione Maxxi presents an overview of Italian interior design from the early 20th century to the present.

 

The Pursuit of Immortality: Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals

9 May – 10 September

Frick Collection, New York

Crown of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), London Mint, 1658 (obverse) (gold) (for reverse see 168064), English School, (17th century) / Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK
Crown of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), London Mint, 1658 (obverse) (gold) (for reverse see 168064), English School, (17th century) / Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK

The Scher collection of portrait medals, considered the largest of its kind in private hands, was recently acquired by the Frick collection. This exhibition celebrates this incredible collection and traces the history of the medium from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth century.

 

Canaletto and the Art of Venice

19 May – 12 November

The Queen’s Gallery, London

The Grand Canal, 1744 (oil on canvas), Canaletto, (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (1697-1768) / Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2017
The Grand Canal, 1744 (oil on canvas), Canaletto, (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (1697-1768) / Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2017

The Royal Collection houses some of the worlds finest paintings and drawings by Canaletto, the great 18th-century master of Venetian vedute. This exhibition celebrates Canaletto alongside other masterpieces from the Collection, showing the spectacular beauty and drama of Venice in the eighteenth century. To see the Royal Collection’s treasures up close before you visit, check out their collection page.

 

America Collects eighteenth-century French painting

21 May – 20 August

National Gallery of Art, Washington

Madame de Pompadour at her Toilette (detail), c.1760 (oil on canvas), Francois Boucher (1703-70) / Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museums, USA
Madame de Pompadour at her Toilette (detail), c.1760 (oil on canvas), Francois Boucher (1703-70) / Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museums, USA

From the moment Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte brought his collection of 18th-century French painting to the United States in 1815, French art of the period became hugely fashionable in the States. This exhibition at the National Gallery of Art tells the history of this era in art collecting, and showcases some of the finest examples of French painting in American collections.

 

Balenciaga – Shaping fashion

27 May 2017 – 18 February 2018

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Balenciaga white night dress with ostrich feathers, April 1967
Balenciaga white night dress with ostrich feathers, April 1967

With his innovative use of fabrics and revolutionary, voluminous shapes, Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga changed the course of later 20th century fashion. This exhibition at the V&A brings together some of the designer’s most iconic pieces, as well as photographs of his life, and designs of those influenced by him.

 

Beneath Italian Skies

Closing 28 May

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden

Goethe in Roman countryside, 1786-1787, by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829) / De Agostini Picture Library
Goethe in Roman countryside, 1786-1787, by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829) / De Agostini Picture Library

In this large exhibition of over 120 works, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden shows the Italian landscape through the eyes of German painters of the 19th century. Creating a dialogue between works by German artists and those by international names such as Turner and Corot, this exhibition captures the idyllic, picturesque view of Italy that inspired many painters in 19th-century Europe.

 

Like what you see? Get in touch with your local Bridgeman office for any image research or licensing queries. 

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