‘National Treasures: Velázquez in Liverpool’ sees ‘The Rokeby Venus’ form the centrepiece of a new display.
The work is Diego Velázquez’s only surviving female nude and one of his most celebrated pieces. It will be shown in Walker Art Gallery alongside collections from National Museums Liverpool, both ancient and contemporary, exploring this iconic 17th century painting in an unexpected new way.
The display will challenge traditional readings of the painting by setting it alongside unexpected artworks by women and non-binary artists from our collection. These include Ethel Walker’s ‘The Spanish Gesture’, photographs by René Matic and Zanele Muholi, and Harriet Hosmer’s ‘Puck’.
The work is being loaned as part of the National Treasures programme celebrating the 200th birthday of the National Gallery in London. The programme will see twelve institutions across the UK loaned a different work from the National Gallery. 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.