The National Gallery second partner for Asia Tour: National Museum of Korea

2 June - 9 October 2023
Boy bitten by a Lizard, Caravaggio, about 1594-5© The National Gallery, London

Botticelli to Van Gogh: ​Masterpieces from the National Gallery – a new exhibition of 52 paintings by artists such as Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Constable, Monet, and Van Gogh – is touring Asia during 2023 and early 2024.

As the Gallery prepares for NG200 – its year-long Bicentenary celebration from 10 May 2024 – significant building work in Trafalgar Square has given us an exceptional opportunity to bring even more people and paintings together globally by offering a chance for Asian audiences to access our collection without having to travel to London.

This new series builds on the hugely successful tour to Australia and Japan in 2020 and 2021, which was enjoyed by more than 700,000 people, along with numerous other ongoing National Gallery activities in the Asia region including learning and retail experiences, plus digital and brand partnerships.

Botticelli to Van Gogh: ​Masterpieces from the National Gallery is currently drawing record audiences at its first venue – the Shanghai Museum – until 7 May 2023, and is the National Gallery’s first-ever exhibition in China.  

From Shanghai is will travel to Seoul, opening at the National Museum of Korea on 2 June (until 9 October 2023). This is the National Gallery’s first visit to Korea and marks the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UK and Republic of Korea.

Masterpieces from the National Gallery is in essence a ‘National Gallery in miniature’ – a selection representative of the Gallery’s history which offers audiences a concise and beautiful history of Western art as uniquely told by the National Gallery’s collection.

Key loans include Sandro Botticelli, Three Miracles of Saint Zenobius (about 1500), Raphael, The Garvagh Madonna (about 15010–11), Jan Gossaert, A Young Princess (about 1530–2), Caravaggio, Boy bitten by a Lizard (about 1594–5), Rembrandt, Self Portrait at the Age of 63 (1669) Canaletto, Venice: Entrance to the Cannaregio (probably 1734–42), Van Gogh, Long Grass with Butterflies (1890) Claude MonetIrises (about 1914-1917), John Constable, Stratford Mill (1820) and Turner, The Parting of Hero and Leander (before 1837).

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, says “I am delighted that the National Gallery is building on its highly successful tours of Australia and Japan and reaching new audiences across Asia and internationally. 

The Gallery has an important role to play in promoting the UK’s globally recognised position as a centre for culture and the arts, and we remain passionately committed to cultural exchange internationally. 

The tour demonstrates how the Gallery continues to innovate in the way it designs and delivers partnerships, with the exhibition representing what is essentially the ‘National Gallery in miniature’. It is also a reminder of the continued interest of audiences from around the world in the European tradition and the world-renowned collection we are custodians of here at the National Gallery. “

Yoon Sung Yong, Director of the National Museum of Korea, says “It is a pleasure for the National Museum of Korea to organize this special exhibition with the National Gallery, in celebration of the 140th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.

The Museum has played a central role in diffusing the Korean culture and history to a wider public while creating collaborative ties with other global institutions. This exhibition will be an important opportunity to explore the passages in European art history through the paintings from the National Gallery. I sincerely hope that this exhibition helps to further strengthen the links that unite the two countries.

A further venue will be announced in due course.  

National Museum of Korea

137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea


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