The Art Gallery of Ballarat is proud to present its latest exhibition, Into Light: Masterworks from the Musee de la Chartreuse. Offering a unique collection from Douai, in the Flanders region of Northern France, this exhibition tells the story of French painting in the nineteenth century from the Classical to Post-Impressionism styles through a selection of 40 French masterworks.

Curator, Julie McLaren says the exhibition reveals the dramatic changes that occurred in French art during the nineteenth century, and how the impact of these changes was felt even in Australia, with artists beginning to imitate their French counterparts by painting outdoors (en plein air).

“As the title suggests, light is the central theme of our exhibition. Capturing light on canvas has entranced, eluded and obsessed countless artists, most famously perhaps by the Impressionists who sought to document the fleeting and transient effect of sunlight through short brushstrokes of pure colour,” Ms McLaren said.

The French masterworks are complemented by a selection of key works from Australian collections by European and Australian artists such as E Phillips Fox, Ethel Carrick Fox, David Davies and Hilda Rix Nicolas from the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of NSW and Bendigo Art Gallery.

Proud of Ballarat’s collection of works, Ms McLaren says the French collection gives the perfect backdrop to highlight the breadth of the Ballarat gallery’s extraordinary collection of works by European and Australian artists.

“The nineteenth-century wealth which the coal industry brought to Douai enabled the Musée de la Chartreuse to build an impressive collection, including French paintings from the eighteenth through to the twentieth century. For both Douai and Ballarat, nineteenth-century industry brought wealth, and investment in cultural institutions, so the collections are worth comparing,” Ms McLaren states.

The exhibition also features a range of public programs and activities, including daily, special guided tours (every day except Monday and Fridays) French language tours, which are available by arrangement, curator talks and free kids’ art activities.

For a full listing of artworks and activities see Into Light at the Art Gallery of Ballarat website here.


Dates: 23 June - 9 September 2018

Location: Art Gallery of Ballarat (40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat)

Times: Open daily, 10am – 5pm

Tickets: Adults $16, Concession $12, Student $10, Child 16 and under free

Art Gallery of Ballarat Website