London’s National Gallery has confirmed that on the 22nd March it will be opening a new gallery – the first for 26 years.
Designed by architects Purcell, this new gallery space adds an extra 200 square metres of display space to the main Wilkins Building to open up the ground floor.
As well as being the first new gallery space to be created at the gallery in 26 years, it will also be the first time that visitors can explore all of the Ground Floor Galleries and be able to make their way to the first floor without breaking their viewing experience.
It was also confirmed that the now interlinking galleries will also host a number of Education programme activities along with National Gallery Collection special displays and exhibitions.
Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, said “Gallery B is the first new gallery to open since the Sainsbury Wing was inaugurated in 1991. It provides the setting for an original display of works by two of the National Gallery’s titans, Rubens and Rembrandt.”
The new gallery will open with Rubens and Rembrandt, a special display of paintings by the Dutch and Flemish artists exploring the pair’s work but also offering a new way to explore the National Gallery collection. The display will feature nine works by Rubens and 11 paintings by Rembrandt from the National Gallery’s extensive collection of Dutch and Flemish art.
Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings, Betsy Wieseman, said “The arrangement of paintings in the main floor galleries is for the most part divided by national schools. The new gallery space presents an exciting opportunity to display together paintings by two great masters from neighbouring countries with diverging artistic traditions. This Gallery B display will enable the visitor to make their own comparisons, and as a result to view the achievements of these two artists – whose work is so well represented in the National Gallery – in an entirely new way.”