Monday 9 April 2012


The National Gallery of Victoria is an art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. Since December 2003, NGV has operated across two sites. The main gallery, known as NGV International, is located on St Kilda Road, in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank, with a branch gallery at Federation Square.

The St Kilda Road Gallery, designed by Sir Roy Grounds, opened in 1968. and redesigned by Mario Bellini. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square was designed by LAB Architecture Studio.

At the time when the gallery opened, Victoria was an independent colony for just ten years, but in the wake of the Victorian gold rush, it was easily the richest part of Australia, and Melbourne the largest city. Besides donations of works of art, donated funds from wealthy citizens have been used by the Gallery to purchase large collections of overseas works from both old and modern masters. The Gallery currently holds over 65,000 works of art.

The Felton Bequest, established by the will of Alfred Felton, has acquired and donated over 15,000 works of art to the Gallery. The National Gallery of Victoria Art School, associated with the gallery, was founded in 1867. It was the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910. The School’s graduates went on to become some of Australia’s most significant artists.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of Toby's Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors meme.
The imposing St Kilda Rd façade of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne
The rather grand entranceway to the Gallery. Entry is free tot he Gallery, although a fee is usually charged for special exhibitions
The water windows at the Gallery entrance delight both young and old...
But especially so the young! 
The Gallery has expansive spaces, many of which are brightly lit with natural light, as can be seen in the foyer area here 
The sculptures of the figures visible here are English sculptor Antony Gormley's stainless steel 'Inside Australia' installation in the foyer of the Gallery 
The Gallery shop on the Ground floor of the Gallery is a treasure of books on art, architecture, craft and related disciplines. As well as books, the shop sells catalogues, postcards, art, gifts and other art-related merchandise
The Great Hall, created by Leonard French between 1963-1967 is a magnificent space, often used for performances, concerts and all sorts of other functions. The ceiling is high (13.72 metres), vast (60.9 x 15.24 metres) and so heavy with glass and steel that its downward projecting triangles need to be held up by a series of slim steel columns.
Looking up, one becomes aware of the wonder of one of the largest glass ceilings in the world. The kaleidoscopic tent of light suspended high above the NGV International's Great Hall is part of the building's fabric and an iconic part of the National Gallery of Victoria
Leonard William French OBE (born 8 October 1928) is an Australian artist, known principally for major stained glass works. French was born in Brunswick, Victoria. His stained glass creations include a series of panels in the cafe and foyer of the National Library of Australia in Canberra, and this stained glass ceiling for the great hall at the National Gallery of Victoria
The sculpture garden of the Gallery at its back end
Another view of the garden
Henry Moore's "Draped Seated Woman" of 1957-58, with a mosaic in the background, a recreation of Fernand Léger's "Grand Parade with red Background" made in 1985
Auguste Rodin's sculpture of "Monument to Balzac" (1891–1898)  Rodin had a modest attitude toward his art. When he finished his "Balzac", which remains the incontestable point of departure for modern sculpture, he declared, "It is now that I would like to begin work."
There are several cafés and places to refresh oneself in the Gallery. Here is the very cosy  first floor "Tea Room"
 The gallery's collection includes 66,000 objects: Sculptures, paintings, prints, costumes, furnishings, photographs and artefacts. Here is the "Triptych with the miracles of Christ" (1479-1491), painted by the workshop of  the Master of the Legend of St Catherine 
A detail of the  "Triptych with the miracles of Christ" 
"Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints" - Cologne School, c.1510-20 
Detail of  "Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints"
The Rembrandt Cabinet
Detail of "The Two Philosophers" (1628) by Rembrandt
One of the 16th-17th century galleries
Giambattista Tiepolo's "The Finding of Moses"  (1740-1745)
Giambattista Tiepolo's stunning "The Banquet of Cleopatra" (1743–44)
Three decorative art pieces from the extensive collection of similar type in the Gallery. These are Minton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire bone china pieces, two baskets (1873) and a covered vase (ca. 1885). The vase was decorated by Henry Mitchell (active 1860-1875)
A 17th-18th century gallery
One of the 19th century galleries
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes' enormous cartoon of "St Geneviève Ravitaillant Paris Assiégé" (1897-1898)
Another of the 19th century galleries decorated in the salon style typical of the early to mid-19th century
James Tissot's "An Interesting Story" (1872)
Claude Monet's "Vétheuil" (1879)
Frederick McCubbin's "Lost" (1907)
Paul Nash's "Landscape of the Summer Solstice" (1943)
Detail from John Longstaff's portrait of Alfred Felton of 1932.  Alfred Felton (8 November 1831 – 8 January 1904) was an Australian entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist. His sizeable and very generous bequest to the National Gallery of Victoria made the gallery what it is today - the best in the Southern Hemisphere and certainly one of the best in the world. My short photographic foray has hardly done it any justice


  1. oh but you have done it justice!!

    I particularly like the picture of the 19th century gallery, decorated in the salon style typical of the early to mid-19th century. You almost don't see that in any other gallery.

    And talking of the 19th century, I love the Tissot! I can't remember seeing An Interesting Story 1872 before.

  2. What an awesome gallery, Nick!! Your captures are amazing as always! I would love to spend time there! I can understand why it is one of the best galleries in the world! It certainly is the best that I've seen! The glass ceiling is incredible!


  3. What an amazing place! Gorgeous shots. I love the stained glass ceiling and those lovely water windows full of rainbows.

  4. So many great things to see there.

  5. Wow, breathtaking! I especially like the stained glass :)
    This post would be perfect for Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors - please feel free to stop by and link up!

  6. I still think that the water wall is one of the best architectural ideas I've seen - and played with for that matter!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  7. Fabulous tour of the gallery, Nick. It's inspired me to re-visit soon. I especially liked your shots of The Great Hall.

  8. Fantastic photographic wisdom. I never saw any flashlight reflection and you probably used a tripod in most cases. Thank you for the grand tour of the Galleries, what a smashing piece of Architecture, the stained glass ceiling taking the cake. Very interesting blog.

  9. What an interesting place, the water walls look amazing. Thankyou also for your own recent comments to me, always much appreciated.

  10. very nice place. Thank you because you took me on a tour... I am still home and I'm learning with you, I'm seeing through your eyes...
    Thank you again.

    And thank you for visiting and commenting!
    My honor!


  11. That's a lot of show to see!Love the stained glass ceiling and the people shots.

  12. Another fascinating, informative and entertaining post. I especially liked all the stained glass. My MIL was a old school stain glass artisan who received the first living treasure award in the state of Arkansas for her cathedral windows.

  13. What a great blog post filled with fantastic photos and wonderful info.

  14. I'm so happy that I did come over to visit the NGV, what an amazing place, I really enjoyed the tour, merci.

  15. Looks like a fabulous place where one could spend much time. That ceiling is amazing. And I love the salon style gallery.

  16. What a fantastic job! I always get wondered seeing some special works online that really hard to praise only few words. I found this post was one of them. So, let me leave my warm thanks for this unique piece of work. I have heard a lot about National Gallery of Victoria and Museum. I was impressed finding so many resources altogether. The different photos including the imposing St Kilda Rd façade of the National Gallery, The rather grand entranceway to the Gallery, the expansive spaces, The sculptures of the figures, shop on the Ground floor , The Great Hall, created by Leonard French, major stained glass works, the back end sculpture garden, Henry Moore's "Draped Seated Woman, Auguste Rodin's sculpture of "Monument to Balzac, Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints- Cologne School,- oh all were super meaningful and expressed many back events of Melbourne. My browsing story today was to learn about Point Cook schools. But seriously this was a precious complement to me.