The National Portrait Gallery has announced it is to loan out its most prestigious pieces of Tudor art for a series of exhibitions across England.
Many of the iconic canvases housed at the London-based gallery will be on display in Sheffield later this year, before moving on to Bath, Liverpool and York in 2022.
A spokesperson from the National Portrait Gallery called the tour “a once in a generation opportunity.”
The touring exhibition will allow the Tudor portraits to be seen across the county while the National Portrait Gallery’s site at St Martin’s Place remains closed until spring 2023 due to a £35.5m redevelopment project.
The tour will showcase 25 of the gallery’s exclusive Tudor portraits, including all the monarchs of the dynasty: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Art lovers will be able to view the first exhibition titled Beyond Bloomsbury: Life, Love And Legacy at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield this November before it moves to the York Art Gallery in March 2022.
Beyond Bloomsbury will also celebrate key figures from a group of writers, artists and thinkers from the first half of the 20th Century. The group – known as the ‘Bloomsbury Set’ – included painter Vanessa Bell and her sister, author Virginia Woolf.
A second exhibition – The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics – will open at The Holburne Museum in Bath in January 2022 and will feature other significant figures from the Tudor period such as Sir Thomas More. In May, the exhibition will expand to include 68 art pieces at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
“We are delighted to be partnering with our colleagues in Bath, Liverpool, Sheffield and York to create this once in a generation opportunity to see some of the nation’s best-loved portraits exhibited together outside of London,” said Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery.
“Through all our projects and partnerships, we hope to be able to share our collection with new and different audiences across the UK, some of whom may not have had the opportunity to visit the gallery in London.”
More exhibitions and art displays from the National Portrait Gallery will be opening in the coming months in Coventry, Plymouth, and Sudbury.