National Gallery's Sin

Sin, the exclusive National Gallery touring exhibition, comes to The Arc in Winchester, this week. As one of only four UK touring venues, this city is the only location in the South to host the exhibition. As the newest member of the exhibitions team, I wanted to share why I am so excited for this show.

Joining the exhibitions team at the beginning of the year, I had a vague idea about the programme coming to The Gallery at The Arc. Despite my academic background laying more in history and curatorial practice, the names of Constable, Rembrandt and O’Keefe caught my attention and filled my mind with grand dreams. Working on shows of this level is not something I had envisioned!

Rembrandt. The Woman taken in Adultery. 1644 © The National Gallery, London.

Sin, an exhibition rich in masterful art, is a shining example of the kind of exhibition I want to be involved in delivering. From an academic perspective, the quality and nuance of the show are clear to see. New and ancient ideas freely negotiate with each other, as artworks of huge historical significance are displayed together for the first time. Rembrandt’s The Woman Taken in Adultery and Mueck’s Youth are undoubtedly the stars of this unmissable show.

A triumph of baroque drama, the composition of The Woman Taken in Adultery directs the eyes and the mind to that pivotal moment when Christ confronted Old Testament-inspired morals. Mueck’s lifelike diminutive sculpture ingeniously inverts stereotypes and points to the future. Seen together, they defy differences, suspending constraints of time and form, instead demonstrating continuity by questioning dominant values and refuting inflexible attitudes. I find this exhibition as intellectually stimulating as it is stunning, and it has an unquestionable gravitas rarely seen outside of London.

Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus and Cupid. 1529. A gift from the Drue Heinz Charitable Trust, 2018 © The National Gallery, London

My reading of the intricate connections in this show barely scratches the surface of the complexity of the works involved. What you will find in the gallery will delight historians and art enthusiasts alike, and I invite you to come and ponder the art and the ideas, as I have. Some of the finest artworks in European history – including Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach the Elder - are in Winchester. I urge you to take advantage!

Sin is organised by the National Gallery, London with Hampshire Cultural Trust. The exhibition runs 24 February - 14 May.

Sin is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated book written by exhibition curator, Joost Joustra, as well as a fun selection of sin-themed events.

Plus, don’t miss our Seven Deadly Deals! Lots of enticing offers, including, save £2 when you purchase a ticket and catalogue together in advance!

For more information on these offers, the exhibition, or to book your ticket, click here.

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