10 Must See European Museums

Europe Art

by Robert Hull, The Guardian, January, 16. 2015

Late Rembrandt, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

12 February-17 May
It may be hard for another artist to get their head in the game in Amsterdam amid all the Vincent Van Gogh anniversary events (2015 marks 125 years since the post-impressionist’s death) but none stands a better chance than Rembrandt. The city’s impressive Rijksmuseum – still wowing visitors following its summer 2013 reopening – will be hoping for success similar to that of Tate Britain’s autumn Late Turner show, as it displays 90 paintings, drawings and prints from the artist who lived and worked in Amsterdam until his death in 1669. The show is being promoted as the largest ever of his late period and is set to include a number of self portraits, as well as Woman Bathing in a Stream and Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph. The Rijksmuseum’s exhibition, in its Philips Wing, is an expanded version of the one at London’s National Gallery until 18 January. It will include four paintings not at the London show, including Portrait of Jan Six, and The Family Portrait, as well as a larger number of prints on display. For those who like their art to be a little more 19th and 20th century, Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum will be hosting The Oasis of Matisse from 27 March to 16 August.

Exhibition ticket €7.50, Rijksmuseum ticket, including Late Rembrandt exhibition, €25, online booking at rijksmuseum.nl
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Mario Testino, Staatliche Museen, and the Botticelli Renaissance, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin


Gemaldegalerie art museum in Kulturforum museum complex in Berlin, Germany

Photograph: Alamy

20 January-26 July, 24 September-24 January 2016
One of the most famous Renaissance painters and an iconic 20th-century fashion photographer could make awkward bedfellows, so it’s perhaps fortunate that this duo’s shows are occupying different ends of the year in the German capital. The Testino exhibition at the Staatliche Museen is in Europe for the first time following stints in Boston and Buenos Aires (maybe it has a thing for Bs) and runs from 20 January to 26 July. There will be 125 images on display and the show’s title, In Your Face, means you should expect plenty of up-close-and-personal celebrity shots. A link between the two might not end up seeming so fanciful in the context of The Botticelli Renaissance at the Gemäldegalerie (24 September-24 January 2016). Along with 20 examples of Botticelli’s work being displayed for the first time are 100 pieces of art that show the influence of the early Renaissance maestro, including several which venerate him as a pop-art icon.
Testino online tickets €9 adults, €4.50 concessions at smb.museum. Botticelli online flexi-ticket (choose three days when you might want to see the exhibition) from €24 at smb.museum
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Leonardo Da Vinci, Palazzo Reale, Milan


Da Vinci's The Last Supper.

Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Photograph: Alamy

15 April-19 July
Da Vinci certainly knew how to multitask – being a painter, architect, engineer and inventor, to name a few – so it’s fair to say he’d have been keen to explore the Milan Expo that takes place from 1 May to 31 October, with its pavilion designs from Wolfgang Buttress and Daniel Libeskind. Those who want to appreciate Da Vinci’s own talent, however, should visit the city’s Palazzo Reale for the largest Leonardo exhibition ever organised in Italy. The 12 sections of the exhibition will feature paintings, drawings, manuscripts and working models of his inventions. And, odd as it sounds, there will also be a full-scale video reproduction of The Last Supper, which the publicity material suggests will be “enriched with descriptive panels and interactive stations with the information on the work and its restoration”.
Online tickets not yet available. For more information visit turismo.milano.it and artpalazzoreale.it
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Jackson Pollock, Tate Liverpool


Yellow Islands (1952) by Jackson Pollock.

Yellow Islands (1952) by Jackson Pollock. Photograph: Tate

30 June-18 October
Pollock may be renowned for the “drip” technique of his paintings and their often-vivid colours but this show at Tate Liverpool will focus on a little-seen side of the abstract expressionist’s art. The Blind Spots exhibition will display paintings known as his “Black Pourings”, which were made between 1951 and 1953 and involved pouring paint rather than dripping it. The show will contextualise this change in approach with a room of his paintings from 1947-49, drawings from the Black Pourings’ period and a number of rarely seen sculptures. If it’s a case of “never mind these Pollocks” and you’d prefer to have that splash of colour after all – and for free – it’s still possible to enjoy the vibrancy of Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Dazzle Ship at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
Exhibition ticket £10 adults, £7.50 concession, available online at tate.org.uk
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Roy Lichtenstein, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh


The Melody Haunts My Reverie by Roy Lichtenstein

The Melody Haunts My Reverie by Roy Lichtenstein Photograph: The Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS

14 March-10 January 2016
This three-room exhibition of Lichtenstein’s work – including In The Car and The Melody Haunts My Reverie – is certain to draw crowds to the Modern One section of the Edinburgh gallery. This is due, in part, to the enduring appeal of the pop artist’s witty and groundbreaking screenprints but also because it is a newly assembled group of works. The images are being shown under the banner Artist Rooms On Tour, a partnership with Arts Council England, the Art Fund and Creative Scotland that aims to take major art out to venues across the UK. Admission is free, which may make it hard to avoid the rush, though the museum is open seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm.
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Tracey Emin and Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum, Vienna


Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria

Photograph: Alamy

24 April-14 September
Vienna may have a reputation for a polite cafe culture but its art scene will get a wake-up (and get out of Bed!) call with the arrival of this new exhibition, entitled Where I Want to Go. A major attraction will be the inclusion of new work and installations by Emin but there is an added draw in that the display will incorporate a personal selection of drawings by the Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele. How the blend works will be intriguing but what’s guaranteed is the mixture of media on show: acrylic paintings, sculpture, photographs, videos and installations made from neon lamps.
Online tickets €12 adults, concessions from €7, leopoldmuseum.org
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Edvard Munch, El Museo de arte Thyssen- Bornemisza, Madrid


Edvard Munch (1863-1944) Norwegian painter, 1892

Edvard Munch. Photograph: Apic

6 October-17 January 2016
The Scream may be familiar to you as a pose from a holiday not going too well but it has also become the painting for which Edvard Munch is best known. This exhibition – the first of the Norwegian painter and printer’s work to be held in Madrid since 1984 – aims to shine a light on a wider array of his output. It will feature 80 works, half of which will be supplied by the Munch Museum in Oslo, and is to be structured around “the representation of the human figure in various settings: the coast, the patient’s room, the abyss, the green room, the forest, night, and the artist’s studio”.
Tickets TBC, but online purchase can be made when announced at museothyssen.org
The show must go on: Madrid city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

Various, Venice Biennale


The Giardini, one of the venues of the Venice Biennale, Italy

The Giardini, one of the venues of the Venice Biennale

9 May-22 November
While major exhibitions can be seen as a way to escape what’s around you, the curators of the 56th annual international art exhibition, which forms part of this year’s Venice Biennale, have other ideas. A show titled All The World’s Futures promises to look at “the current state of things” … so don’t expect an easy ride. The show will take place at several venues across the city, with the artist Sarah Lucas selected to represent the UK with a major solo show at the British Pavilion. At the US Pavilion, video and performance artist Joan Jonas is to display an installation that will incorporate video, drawings, objects and sound and focus on “landscape and natural phenomena”. Photographer and sculptor Fiona Hall flies the flag for Australia, while a show called The Key in the Hand by Chiharu Shiota will take place at the Japan Pavilion.
Online tickets available, €23.50 adults, €16.50 students, at tickets.labiennale.org. For more information visit labiennale.org
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Velázquez, Grand Palais, Paris


Velazquez Apollo in the forge of Vulcan _-_La_Fragua_de_Vulcano_(Museo_del_Prado,_1630).jpg

Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan by Velázquez. Photograph: Museo del Prado, Madrid

25 March-13 July
Paris celebrates one of the maestros of the Spanish Golden Age with this exhibition of baroque works by Diego Velázquez – the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. The show is the first major exhibition in France of the artist’s work and is set to concentrate on the Seville-born painter’s early work, including Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan. If you prefer to keep things French in France, then you can rejoice in a Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective, From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, also being staged at the Grand Palais (after a stint at London’s Barbican last year); it runs from 1 April to 3 August.
Velázquez tickets not available online at time of press, €13 adults, €9 concessions, for more information visit grandpalais.fr
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Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, National Portrait Gallery, London


Exterior of the National Portrait Gallery, London

Photograph: Graeme Robertson

12 February-25 May
One of the leading portrait painters of his generation, Sargent (1856-1925) is of relevance to travel fans because his work also serves as a record of his journeys across Europe, the Middle East and the US. There is even a nod to another famous artist in our list, Velázquez, whose work Sargent studied while he was in Spain. This exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery features 70 portraits from the artist’s time in London, Paris and Boston – along with countryside sojourns in England and Italy – including The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati and the only two surviving portraits Sargent painted of his friend, the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson.
Tickets available online, £14.50 adults, £13 concessions at npg.org.uk
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This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk


This article was written by Robert Hull from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.