You may notice that our painting of Cleopatra by celebrated Italian Renaissance artist, Giampietrino, is missing from its usual home in the Kress Gallery. This is because it is currently traveling to Madrid, Spain for an exhibition at the Centro de Exposiciones Arte Canal.
The work will be displayed as part of the exhibition whose title in English is Cleopatra and the Fascination of Egypt. Curated by Giovanni Gentili and Martín Almagro, this exhibition brings together over 400 works from 75 museums around the world in order to show a multifaceted Cleopatra, ancient queen of Upper and Lower Egypt, from as many different viewpoints as possible. In addition to works of art made near the time of her life, the exhibition also includes works from Renaissance Europe (like ours), through the 1800s and present day in order to show how images of her have changed over time.
Because this work is one of the highlights of the Samek’s collection, we’ve sent our Registrar, Erin Bradford, as a “courier” to accompany the work on its way to and from Spain. Art museums frequently employ couriers (usually a member of the Collections Management or Curatorial staff) to accompany their most significant works of art when they travel on loan in order to ensure the safety and security of these irreplaceable objects. It’s both an exciting and intense part of the job!