National Treasures: Renoir in Leicester

Renoir's 'The Umbrellas' comes to Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

Published: 7 February 2023

World Famous

We are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership between Leicester Museums & Galleries and the National Gallery.

As part of the National Gallery’s 200th Anniversary, 12 museums around the country will be displaying 12 iconic artworks from national collection in the summer of 2024, under the title 'National Treasures'.

Leicester Museum & Art Gallery will be displaying Pierre Auguste Renoir’s masterpiece “The Umbrellas” (c 1886), one of the most famous artworks in the world.

Pierre Auguste Renoir’s masterpiece “The Umbrellas” (c 1886). Photo: The National Gallery London.

Pierre Auguste Renoir’s masterpiece “The Umbrellas” (c 1886). Photo: The National Gallery London.

The National Gallery today announces the partner venues taking part in National Treasures, 12 displays of loaned paintings all opening on 10 May 2024, the 200th birthday of the National Gallery.

'National Treasures' is a key strand of the programme celebrating the Gallery’s Bicentenary. Each partner venue will receive a masterpiece from the Gallery’s collection and will curate around it, involving interpretation, community engagement and events, or exhibitions. For the duration of the displays, 35 million people - more than half the UK population - will be within an hour’s journey of a National Gallery masterpiece​.

The partners and the paintings they are receiving are:

  • Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, The Wilton Diptych (about 1395‒9)
  • Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Self Portrait at the Age of 34 (1640), Rembrandt (1606‒1669)
  • Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The Hay Wain (1821), John Constable (1776‒1837)
  • The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Venus and Mars (about 1485), Sandro Botticelli (about 1445-1510)
  • Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1615‒17), Artemisia Gentileschi (1593‒1654 or later)
  • Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, The Fighting Temeraire (1839), Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)
  • Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, The Umbrellas (about 1881‒6), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841‒1919)
  • The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, The Stonemason’s Yard (about 1725), Canaletto (1697‒1768)
  • Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal (about 1670‒2), Johannes Vermeer (1632‒1675)
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast, The Supper at Emmaus (1601), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571‒1610)
  • Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, The Rokeby Venus (1647‒51), Diego Velázquez (1599‒1660)
  • York Art Gallery, The Water-Lily Pond (1899), Claude Monet (1840‒1926)

Christine Riding, Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department, says, ‘We thought carefully about where to send these most iconic and well-loved paintings in our collection. As well as being able to look after these works to an extremely high standard, we approached our partners for National Treasures because of their exciting ideas and brilliant reputations within their community. We are very excited to see the interpretation and audiences that our partners will bring to these most treasured paintings.’

Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, says, ‘In our Bicentenary year, we want to reaffirm our role as the nation’s gallery. Our collection belongs to the UK public and we’re very pleased to work with such an exciting range of partner venues to help realise this. These exhibitions provide a unique opportunity for people all over the country to see up close some of the greatest works from the history of Western art – and we hope that many visitors will discover their local museums and be inspired to visit us in Trafalgar Square to see even more of our collection.’

Arts and Heritage Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, says, ‘Everyone should have access to our country's great treasures, no matter where they live. I'm delighted that these masterpieces will be going on display in galleries across the nation so more people can enjoy and be inspired by the National Gallery's world-class collections.’

Read more on The National Gallery Website.