Arts & Entertainment

Art Gallery Of NSW Acquires New Masterpiece

Image 1088x720 Image: Jusepe de Ribera, Aesop c1625—31, oil on canvas, 125x92 cm.

The Art Gallery Of New South Wales has acquired Spanish Baroque master Jusepe de Ribera’s 17th century masterpiece Aesop.

Painted in Napes, Aesop c1625–31 is a portrayal of Aesop, the legendary ancient Greek storyteller, and one of Ribera’s very first representations of so-called ‘beggar philosophers’.

Purchased in 2021, the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation funded the acquisition from its endowment and funds raised at a 2019 Foundation event.

Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand said, ‘The Art Gallery is extremely grateful for the generous philanthropy of our Foundation supporters in funding this remarkable acquisition which expands the Art Gallery’s already renowned international art collection… Ribera was a pioneering artist of his day, and we are proud to share this work with our visitors.”

Aesop is now on display in the Art Gallery’s revitalised Grand Courts, which are considered the finest Victorian-era galleries in Australia.

“The Grand Courts rehang marks the first time in half a century that the institution has embarked on a thorough rethinking of how our collections are displayed and experienced at the Art Gallery and features a new presentation of historic art inflected with contemporary art,” said Brand.

2022 is set to be an exciting year for the Art Gallery, with the scheduled completion of its new building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA. The expanded campus will almost double exhibition space and feature dynamic galleries, site-specific works by leading Australian and international artists, and extensive outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy.

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