The Wilson - Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
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Queen Victoria in Paris & Fake: The Great Reveal
Dates: Saturday 17th Jun 2017 - Sunday 15th Oct 2017
‘Francois-Felix Festeau, Royal Visit to Napoleon lll: the Salle des Cariatides the Hôtel de Ville, 23 August 1855. Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll 2017’
Queen Victoria in Paris is organised by the Royal Collection Trust, displays the watercolours commissioned as souvenirs from Queen Victoria’s momentous state visit to Paris, in August 1855. Following years of antipathy between France and Britain, this visit was intended to cement the historic alliance between the two countries, developed through their fight against Russia in the Crimean War.
The watercolours that make up the exhibition were all presented to or commissioned by Queen Victoria as a souvenir of her visit. The works act as fascinating records of the opulent surroundings and the pomp and pageantry of Queen Victoria’s visit to Paris, and are representative of art and taste during her reign. Queen Victoria was a passionate collector of watercolours, compiling a sequence of ‘Souvenir Albums’ during her marriage to Albert, which recorded the journeys, events and visits the couple attended together. As well as displaying work by French artists, the collection also holds some drawings Queen Victoria herself made during the Paris tour.
Generously loaned by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, this exhibition is the first time that many of these works have been on display, and introduce the remarkable work of little-known French artist to today’s audiences.
Fake: The Great Reveal is a unique exhibition inspired by the Sky Arts TV programme, Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge presented by Giles Coren and art historian Rose Balston, opening this summer at The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum in Cheltenham. This exhibition will change the way that you look at art. What is a fake and how does the art world go about spotting them? How do authorities attempt to police a global art market worth over £56 billion a year?
In summer 2016, Sky Arts switched priceless masterpieces for specially made copies at art galleries and museums around the UK and challenged members of the public to see whether they could find the fakes among a group of original paintings. All seven of the paintings produced for the national competition will be on display in Cheltenham from 17 June – 15 October.
Visitors can see the ‘fake’ paintings and one original from the hit series brought together for the very first time. The fakes have been painted by leading copyists including John Myatt, the art forger behind what Scotland Yard called ‘the biggest art fraud of the 20th century’.
For more info and to book tickets for Queen Victoria in Paris and Fake: The Great Reveal, please visit the Queen Victoria in Paris and Fake: The Great Reveal website here.
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