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New art galleries open at National Museum, Cardiff

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 12:20 UK time, Thursday, 30 September 2010

You may have recently read or heard about the new Claude Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais, in which over 180 paintings, nearly 10% of his life's work, will be on show.

Much as I'd like a trip across the channel to Paris, there's an exciting new gallery space a little closer to home in Wales where art lovers can get to see works by the great artist, and many more besides.

Claude Monet's The Palazzo Dario, 1908 © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Claude Monet's The Palazzo Dario, 1908 © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

National Museum Cardiff has opened an impressive seven new galleries of Impressionist and Modern art today, which include internationally renowned works such as Renoir's La Parisienne and Van Gogh's Rain Auvers. Ten works by Monet will also be on display in the free exhibition, nine of which form part of the national collection and one comes from the Glynn Vivian Gallery in Swansea.

The impressionist and modern galleries have been completely refurbished and re-displayed for the first time since their completion in 1993.

Other galleries tell the story of the impact of Impressionism on British art and trace the development of Modernism from around 1900 to the Surrealists of the 1930s. Artists from Wales played a significant role in both movements, and the galleries celebrate Augustus John, Gwen John, William Goscombe John, Cedric Morris, David Jones and Ceri Richards, as well as less familiar figures such as the sculptor and suffragette Edith Downing.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's La Parisienne © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's La Parisienne © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Oliver Fairclough, Keeper of Art at Amgueddfa Cymru  National Museum Wales, commented: "The completion of this phase of the project gives us an opportunity both to re-present the great Impressionist and post-Impressionist collections formed by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, and to tell other less familiar stories, such as the growing importance of women artists in Britain around 1900.

"I am also delighted to have a gallery for changing displays from our rich holdings of work by Welsh artists of the first half of the 20th century."

Find out more about the new galleries on the National Museum Cardiff website.

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