The Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, with top floor windows lit up in green light

The National Gallery reveals 12 UK venues in masterpiece loan programme

Image: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (Ikon)

Celebrating the Gallery’s Bicentenary next year, the project will see one work leave the gallery for the first time since 1874

The National Gallery has revealed the twelve venues taking part in its project to display loaned paintings across the UK.

Its ‘National Treasures’ project will see the twelve loans all open on May 10 2024, in celebration of its 200th birthday.

Each partner venue will receive a masterpiece from the Gallery’s collection and will curate around it, involving interpretation, community engagement and events, or exhibitions. The Gallery said some are exploring the industries represented in the paintings and how they link to their own histories and communities, while others will use the display opportunity to bring new audiences to their local cultural hubs.

The National Gallery said that for the duration of the project next year, an estimated 35 million people will be within an hour’s journey of a National Gallery masterpiece​.

Two works – The Wilton Diptych and Botticelli’s Mars and Venus – will be leaving the National Gallery’s collection for the first time since their acquisitions, in 1929 and 1874 respectively.

The partners and the paintings they are receiving are:

Ashmolean Museum
The Wilton Diptych (about 1395-9)

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
Self Portrait at the Age of 34 (1640), Rembrandt (1606-1669)

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
The Hay Wain (1821), John Constable (1776-1837)

The Fitzwilliam Museum
Venus and Mars (about 1485), Sandro Botticelli (about 1445-1510)

Ikon Gallery
Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1615-17), Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1654 or later)

Laing Art Gallery
The Fighting Temeraire (1839), Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery
The Umbrellas (about 1881-6), Pierre-Auguste Renoir(1841-1919)

The National Library of Wales
The Stonemason’s Yard (about 1725),Canaletto (1697-1768)

Scottish National Gallery
A Young Woman standing at a Virginal (about 1670-2), Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)

Ulster Museum
The Supper at Emmaus (1601), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio(1571-1610)

Walker Art Gallery
The Rokeby Venus (1647-51), Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)

York Art Gallery
The Water-Lily Pond (1899), Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Christine Riding, Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department at The National Gallery, said partners were chosen “because of their exciting ideas and brilliant reputations within their community. We are very excited to see the interpretation and audiences that our partners will bring to these most treasured paintings.”

Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, added: “These exhibitions provide a unique opportunity for people all over the country to see up close some of the greatest works from the history of Western art – and we hope that many visitors will discover their local museums and be inspired to visit us in Trafalgar Square to see even more of our collection.”