Melbourne is full of wonderful museums. I was in the city recently and decided to pop into the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).
The NGV has two locations. One is the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square, which is a home for Australian art, presenting Indigenous and non-Indigenous art from the colonial period to the present day. It’s excellent and I highly recommend it. The other location is NGV International on St Kilda Road. NGV International houses collections from Europe, Asia, America, and Oceania. I had not been here before. It was an impromptu visit so I was armed only with my iPhone.
I had heard there is an excellent William Blake exhibit at NGV and it did not disappoint. What I didn’t know is there are also some fine antiquities, which I love.
A portion from The Canterbury Tales, William Blake. That’s the Wife of Bath prominently depicted. Bragging rights: I’ve read this in the original Middle English.
The Creation of Eve, William Blake.
Time advancing and Time passing by, William Blake.
Arise, O Rintrah!, William Blake.
Satan before the Throne of God, from Illustrations of the Book of Job, William Blake.
Cerberus, from illustrations for The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, William Blake.
The Harlot and the Giant, from illustrations for The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, William Blake.
Visitors looking at William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job.
Pieta, Germany, early 16th century, polychromed limewood.
Mary, St John, and St Mary Magdalene, Germany, c. 1470, polychromed limewood.
St Catherine, Spain, c. 1350, limestone.
St Barbara, France, c. 1420, oak.
The Virgin attended by three holy women, Antonio Begarelli, Italian, c. 1530, earthenware.
Tlaloc, the god of rain, and Chicomecoatl, the goddess of ripe maize, Central Mexico, Late Post-Classic 1300-1521, stone.
A collection of Greek and South Italian vases ranging from c. 900 BC to the late fourth-century BC.
Egypt, Head covering of Padihorpasheresat, 1st centry – 2nd century AD.
Various antiquities from the Egyptian collection.
Standing no more than two or three inches tall, they may look like little toys, but these are workers and servants for the deceased in the Egyptian afterlife.
From the Egyptian collection.
This is just a taste of the NGV, which also includes the work of Chinese video artist Wang Gongxin, an exhibit on mid-century modern furniture design in Australia, photography by Sue Ford, an extensive South and Southeast Asian collection, and a new exhibit on Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court.
The NGV International is located at 180 St Kilda Road. It is open from 10am to 5pm and admission is free.
Have you been to the NGV or another Australian museum? What are your favourite museums?