A new exhibition opening at the Ian Potter Museum of this Art provides an opportunity for Melbourne audiences to see art from the Kerry Stokes Collection, including the famous Rothschild Prayer Book. The exhibition is curated by Emeritus Professor Margaret Manion and brings together paintings, stained glass, polychrome sculpture and other art dating from between 1280 and 1685. Mr Stokes has built his collection of illuminated manuscripts over the past forty years, though many of the works included in this exhibition, such as the Pieter Breughel the Younger painting Calvary (1615), are more recent acquisitions stimulated by his recent purchase of the Rothschild Prayer Book (c. 1505 – 1510 ) in early January 2014.
The Rothschild Prayer Book is a masterpiece of Flemish Renaissance art and it is considered one of the finest illuminated manuscripts in private hands. It was made for a member of the imperial court in Netherlands in the early sixteenth century. The painted illustrations are by some of the most well-known illuminators of the period including Gerard Horenbout, who became court painter to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, in 1515, before relocating to England to work for King Henry VIII.
This exhibition will include forty other manuscripts and decorated incunabula as well as portraits, devotional panels, furniture and stained glass, which will provide an artistic and cultural context for its centerpiece, the Rothschild Prayer Book.
To accompany the exhibition The University of Melbourne is offering a series of free public lectures and floor talks that will bring to life many of the extraordinary items on display. Six distinguished lecturers from the University will be joined by four independent scholars, all graduates of the University, and four international guests from Britain, the United States and Germany.The first lecture is Thursday 27th August by Christopher de Hamel on ‘The Hours of Jeanne de Navarre, Three Medieval Queens and Hermann Goering.’
An illumination: the Rothschild Prayer Book & other works from the Kerry Stokes Collection c.1280 – 1685 runs from August 28th until 15th November 2015
The Ian Potter Museum of Art The University of Melbourne | Swanston Street (between Elgin & Faraday sts), Parkville
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5pm: Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5pm.