A tour of the National Gallery of Canada

If Canada is among your next destinations, you won’t want to miss out on visiting the innumerable attractions that its capital has to offer, Ottawa, in the province of Ontario. With more than 3,000 hectares of parks and green areas, the Rideau Canal or the Parliament must be on your list of essentials. Another of the fundamental buildings is the National Gallery of Canada.

Precisely today We propose a journey through its different rooms and its extensive collection. We provide you with all the necessary information so that you can organize your time and make the most of it. Will you join us?

Interesting facts about the National Gallery of Canada

This is one of the main galleries in the American continent. The building is an acclaimed work of architecture, built by Moshe Safdie. It has a striking structure of granite and glass. You can’t help but admire the beautiful views of Parliament and the river in the Great Hall thanks to the large windows.

The National Gallery of Canada opened in 1988 and is located at 380 Sussex Drive. In its winter schedule it opens all week except Mondays; on the other hand, during summer time it does not close any day. It offers a general rate of 15 dollars and on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. access is free.

The holdings of the National Gallery of Canada

His collection is very extensive and includes painting, drawings, sculpture and photography. Though one of its most essential fields is that of Canadian art, also highlight its pieces by European artists. Do you want to know the content of the National Gallery of Canada in depth?

Canadian Art Collection

This section shows the most outstanding works of the country from the beginning of the 18th century to the 1990s. Artists from the 18th and 19th centuries such as Robert Field, Teophile Hamel, Robert Harris or Charlotte Schreiber, one of the first Canadian painters, are among the most relevant creators of this period.

In the 20th century, it is worth mentioning the work of pioneers such as Emily Carr or Prudence Heward. Likewise, there is an important sample of abstract art that arises with different artistic groups from Montreal and Toronto. From 1960 you can see post-war art with John Boyle or Alex Colville, continuing the rise of video and photography.

Indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada

It is very interesting to see the excellent compendium of pieces in the collection. It ranges from Canadian Aboriginal peoples to indigenous people from other parts of the world.

You can see totems and all kinds of artistic carvings made by peoples such as the Inuit, who lead a nomadic life following the migrations of the animals they hunt. His craft centered on soapstone sculpture is one of the best known of this culture.

This town captures in its works a rich mythology and a religion based on animalist principles. Thus, you can learn and delve into its history. In addition, spaces dedicated to emerging and contemporary Inuit artists stand out as a new source of expression in the Arctic.

European art, one of the essential collections

With more than 2,000 works, the National Gallery of Canada’s catalog of European art is equally remarkable. It begins with pieces belonging to the Renaissancewhere we can find paintings by Simone Martini, Piero di Cosimo, Lucas Cranach the Elder or Bronzino.

Regarding the Baroque, authors such as El Greco, Rembrandt, Rubens, Bernini or Nicolas Poussin as protagonists, with numerous canvases from this period. If you continue the tour, you will arrive at the 18th century and you will be able to observe the incomparable Venetian landscapes of Canaletto and the lines of Chardin or Francesco Guardi.

Also there are works by 19th century artists such as Antonio Canova, Turner, Corot, Constable, Van Gogh, Daumier, Monet or Gauguin. No less outstanding are the works of the 20th century signed by authors of the stature of Klimt, Picasso, Duchamp, DalĂ­ or Magritte. The collection keeps magnificent examples for art and for all tastes.

American Art Ensemble at the National Gallery of Canada

From the 18th century on, the work of American artists is very remarkable.. This is the case of the famous painting The death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West, one of the gallery’s jewels made by the first renowned artist in the United States.

In this space we can also find outstanding pieces by Andy Warhol. It is a compendium completed by geniuses of the 20th century such as Pollock, Barnett Newman, Dan Flavin or Alexander Calder.

within this collection we must highlight one of the great stars of the museum, who welcomes us outside. It is one of the colossal arachnid figures of the French sculptress nationalized American Louise Bourgeois, nicknamed ‘the spider woman’.

The work, motherIt measures almost ten meters and is made of steel and bronze. There are six recognized copies of this huge monster that travels around the world. But in some cases it finds a permanent home, like in the Guggenheim in Bilbao or in the National Gallery of Canada.

This famous artist developed an autobiographical work and befriended De Kooning, Pollock, Rothko and Newman, among others. The large carving at the entrance to the museum is a tribute to his mother, who was dedicated to weaving and whose cunning compares to that of the arachnid. It is an ode to motherhood and fertility.

Asian painting and sculpture

The Gallery houses more than 400 works of art from between the 2nd and 19th centuries that come from Asia: Indian sculpture in stone and bronze, small pieces from Nepal and Tibet, an extensive catalog of drawings and engravings from China from the 18th century, etc. This shows the richness, culture and complexity of Asian art, steeped in tradition.

We invite you to immerse yourself in this beautiful building. Let yourself be enveloped by its natural light and contemplate the incredible panoramic views, as well as take a journey through time and art.

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