The Chimei Museum in Tainan is holding an exhibition with London’s National Portrait Gallery to showcase art of important British figures collected since its establishment more than a century ago, the museum said on Friday.
The exhibition, titled “Icons & Identities: Masterpieces of Portraiture,” is a first-time collaboration with the gallery, Chimei Museum said in a statement.
Since 1856, the gallery has been housing and accumulating portraits of famous and important Britons, it said.
Photo courtesy of National Portrait Gallery via CNA
The gallery has about 215,000 pieces in its collection, and the exhibition is the first time that it has allowed a large number of its national-treasure-level works of art to leave Britain, the museum said.
The collaboration comes as the gallery is closed for renovation until next year, as part of its Inspiring People project, Chimei Museum said.
The exhibition, which opens next month, is to serve as a celebration of the museum’s 30th anniversary, showcasing portraits of historic figures such as William Shakespeare and modern-day icons like singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, it said.
The Shakespeare portrait, known as the Chandos portrait, was NPG’s first collected piece, given to it on its foundation in 1856, it added.
Research suggests that the painting could be the only true portrait of Shakespeare, and was believed to have been painted by John Taylor, who had reportedly seen Shakespeare in person, it said, adding that many portraits of the playwright that followed appeared to have used the Chandos portrait as reference.
Chimei Museum curator Hsu Chia-chang (許家彰) said that the exhibition provides Taiwanese with an opportunity to see portraits of significant British figures without having to leave Taiwan.
The exhibition is to be held at the museum’s special exhibition hall from Aug. 27 to Feb. 28 next year. More information, including how to obtain tickets, can be found at its Web site, www.chimeimuseum.org.
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