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Amgueddfa Cymru to wow London with the 'Art Treasures of Wales'

For four days only, visitors to the ‘Art Treasures’ of Wales exhibition at Christie’s in London will be able to see important works by Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Lucian Freud, Gwen John and Thomas Jones – all drawn from the permanent collection of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

More than 30 paintings, sculpture, works on paper and applied art will be on show at Christie's London during 14-17 January, 2007, to launch the centenary of Amgueddfa Cymru. The exhibition will also be an opportunity to launch a fundraising project to establish a National Museum of Art on the top floor of the National Museum Cardiff building in Cathays Park.

The highlight of the show will be the group of Impressionist pictures given to the Museum in the 20th century by the remarkable sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. Renoir's iconic La Parisienne, one of the highlights of the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, which has not left Cardiff for over 20 years, is the star of the show. Cézanne's Midday, L'Estaque, of 1879 and Monet's renowned San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight of 1908 will also be included.

The Museum is understandably also proud of its holding of works by Welsh artists and in particular the rich tradition of landscape painting, led by Richard Wilson. His famous view of Dolbadarn Castle, c.1760,will be shown, alongside landscapes by Claude, Thomas Gainsborough, J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Girtin. Twentieth-century artists are included with Interior Study, 1907-9, by Gwen John and works by Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, and a recent purchase, Kamikaze, by Peter Blake. 

The rich collection of sculpture will be represented by Alfred Gilbert's bronze Icarus, 1884. From the museum's little-known collection of fine miniatures will be portraits by Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver.

Michael Houlihan, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales Director General, said: "We are holding this exhibition to give people a glimpse of our treasures in the hope that they will support us in our efforts to create a National Museum of Art worthy of the collection and encourage people to visit us at home in Cardiff to see these works of art in all their glory." By 2009, the art collections will be shown within one continuous series of newly developed galleries that will create a further 40% of new display space.

Charles Cator, Co-Chairman, Christie's United Kingdom, said "Christie's is delighted to be able to help Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales celebrate its centenary in 2007. The exhibition in January will provide a wonderful opportunity to view some of the outstanding works of art from the Museum and we look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to this superb exhibition." 

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Notes to Editors:

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales administers seven national museums across Wales. They are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. Entry to all national museums is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

(029) 2057 3185 / 07812 801356

  • Press Preview:               Friday, January 12 from 10.00 am, at Christie's
  • Dates: 14-17 January, 2006 at Christie's, 8 King Street, London, SW1
  • Open:                           Sunday from 2-5 pm

                                          Monday to Wednesday 9 am-4.30 pm

  • There is no admission charge
  • Enquiries: +44 (0) 29 2057 3185


Informal gallery talks by the Museum's curators will be held on each day of the exhibition. Space is limited so booking is essential.

  • Sunday 14 January 3 pm - Collecting the 20th century - Oliver Fairclough, Keeper of Art
  • Monday 15 January 1 pm - Applied art from Cardiff: a taste of the Welsh national collection - Andrew Renton, Head of Applied Art
  • Tuesday 16 January 1 pm - Renoir's La Parisienne in focus - Ann Sumner, Head of Fine Art
  • Wednesday 17 January 1 pm - Collecting and interpreting: stories of art in Wales - Michael Tooby, Director of Learning and Programmes
  • Wednesday 17 January 7 pm - The Davies sisters of Gregynog: pioneer collectors of Impressionism - Ann Sumner, Head of Fine Art 


For further information and images contact

Robin Gwyn, Director of Communications on 07810 657172