Brighton Museum welcomes one of the most important artworks ever to be exhibited in the city

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Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger
A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (Anne Lovell?), about 1526-8 Oil on oak
56 x 38.8 cm
© The National Gallery, London. Bought with contributions from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund and Mr J. Paul Getty Jnr (through the American Friends of the National Gallery, London), 1992

Timeless masterpiece set to wow art lovers in Brighton

13 October 2018 – 6 Jan 2019

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

The 1520s painting A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling, by Hans Holbein the Younger, is being loaned to the museum by the National Gallery as part of their Masterpiece Tour 2018.

Holbein, regarded as one of the greatest Old Masters of 16th Century art, is famous for creating aristocratic portraits such as Henry VIII. The painting to be loaned to Brighton Museum. part of Brighton & Hove City Council, depicts a sitter, thought to be Anne Lovell with creatures symbolic of the family name and coat of arms.

Holbein’s portrait will be shown alongside three contemporary 16th century Northern European portraits from the Royal Pavilion & Museums’ Fine Art Collection.

To accompany the show Brighton Museum will be also holding a display exploring portraiture with work chosen by local teachers from Cottesmore St Mary’s and Varndean School.

See Portraits, Be Portraits opening on October 9 in the Fine Art Gallery show the range of styles, techniques, subject matter, and composition of portraiture.

Aimed at families and young people, visitors will be able to create portraits in different ways at our Creation Station and under-5s can curate their version of the show in our new Mini Museum installation.

In addition inspired by Holbein’s artistry and technique the 27 artists from Museum Mentors, a group of marginalised artists have produced individual miniature artworks for a display called Every Miniature Counts.

Director of the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove Janita Bagshawe said: “We are very proud of our partnership with the National Gallery, enabling us to bring Holbein’s beautiful portrait to the city. It will be the centrepiece of our main winter exhibition in 2018, complemented by rarely seen Old Master paintings and drawings from our collection. We are delighted to have been chosen and excited to be presenting such a treasured painting in Brighton & Hove.”

The Masterpiece Tour 2018 is part of the National Gallery’s commitment to promote the understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of Old Master paintings to as wide an audience as possible. This opportunity to bring hugely popular works to the public’s doorstep is being made possible by the generous support of Christie’s.

Notes for editors

Hans Holbein the Younger
‘A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’, 1526–8

Likely painted during Holbein’s first brief visit to England in 1526–8, ‘A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’ is most closely comparable to the portraits of those years, and the sitter’s dress appears to be English in style. The sitter has not been identified with complete certainty, but the starling in the background and the pet squirrel on a chain are visual clues suggesting the sitter may have been Anne Lovell. Squirrels featured in the Lovell family coat of arms and were common pets in 16th-century England.

The sitter in the National Gallery painting is unlikely to have posed with either the squirrel or the starling: Holbein probably made separate studies of them in drawings.

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of Western European paintings from the late 13th to the early 20th century. The collection includes works by Bellini, Cézanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh, and Velázquez. The Gallery’s key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection, and provide the best possible access to visitors. More at nationalgallery.org.uk

For further press information please contact the National Gallery Press Office at press@ng-london.org.uk and 020 7747 5930.

Images supplied with this press release – to be used only with the following captions:

Hans Holbein the Younger

A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (Anne Lovell?), about 1526-8 Oil on oak

56 x 38.8 cm

 

© The National Gallery, London. Bought with contributions from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund and Mr J. Paul Getty Jnr (through the American Friends of the National Gallery, London), 1992

 

Further information for press

Brighton Museum & Gallery is part of the Brighton & Hove City Council.

For a preview of the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2018 at the BMAG on October 11 2018  please contact RPM Press and Media officer Caroline Sutton.
Email Caroline Sutton on caroline.sutton@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 296718.

Interviews with our Fine Art curators can also be arranged.

Visit our website for more information on the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour 2018.

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