In January, London's Dulwich Picture Gallery is celebrating its 200th year with an exclusive international loan exhibition titled 'Masterpiece A Month: Presiding Genius'.
This rolling exhibition will feature contributing works from some of the most renowned museums across the world like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Britain's Royal Collection, Prado in Madrid and Florence's Uffizi.
One loan, one masterpiece every month of the year. It's like an unfolding calendar, it's like a yearlong advent calendar of your dreams, commented gallery director Ian Dejardin on the unique exhibition while speaking to Reuters.
The Dulwich collection was first set up by art collector Sir Francis Bourgeois together with his business partner Noel Desenfans under the command of the King of Poland.
However, when the Poland monarchy had to step down in 1795, the art collectors were left with a national collection with no one to claim.
Many attempts were made by Bourgeois and Desenfans to sell the collection to other nations but all efforts were unsuccessful. Instead, the pair sold small pieces to fund the purchase of other important works in London and also to sustain the existing collection.
It was only in 1811 that the Dulwich Picture Gallery was founded when the collection was bequeathed to Dulwich College after the death of Sir Francis Bourgeois in a riding accident.
Later, in 1995, the gallery was reconstituted as an independent registered identity following the reorganization of the historic Alleyn's College charity.
Twelve masterpieces by renowned artists like Sir Thomas Lawrence, Johannes Vermeer, Paolo Veronese, David Hockney and John Constable will adorn the gallery walls throughout its anniversary year.
The exhibition will kick start with a portrait painting of Sir John Soane by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Some of the main summer exhibition in the museum includes Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painter, Portrait of Bartholemew Beale and Friends Easter Open Exhibition.
The Bartholemew Beale portrait by Sir Peter Lely is a new acquisition by the gallery which is now reunited with its counterpart, Sir Peter Lely's A Boy as a Shepherd, as one of the most popular paintings in the gallery's permanent collection.
In October, 2011 the gallery will be exhibiting the works of artists Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, 20th century Canadian landscape painters whose works will be displayed to the British public for the first time since the 1920s.