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New 2017 exhibitions programme

Release date: Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Tickets for the new 2017 programme of exhibitions and displays at the official royal residences and The Queen's Galleries are now on sale.

The Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace

The highlight of the year will be the special exhibition Royal Gifts at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace.  The exhibition will tell the story of Her Majesty The Queen's reign through a wide-ranging display of official gifts presented to her during the past 65 years. With gifts representing every continent, including those from world leaders such as former US President Ronald Reagan, former South African President Nelson Mandela and President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China, the exhibition will present a spectacular display of craftsmanship from across the globe.

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The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Open until April 2017, Portrait of the Artist, the first ever exhibition to focus on images of artists in the Royal Collection, includes self-portraits by world-renowned painters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucian Freud and David Hockney. Through over 150 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and decorative arts from the 15th to the 21st century, the exhibition examines the cult and changing status of the artist, images of the artist’s studio, and the role of monarchs in commissioning, collecting and displaying portraits of artists.

From May, Canaletto and the Art of Venice will bring the irresistible allure of one of the most beautiful cities in the world to The Queen's Gallery.  Presenting a spectacular selection of 18th-century Venetian art, the exhibition presents the many delights of 18th-century Venice, from the splendours of the Grand Canal and St Mark's Square to its festivals, theatre and masked carnival, bringing together some of Canaletto's greatest works. 

Charles II: Art & Power, opening in December, will show the rich material world of Charles II's court and the role of the arts in the re-establishment of the Stuart monarchy in 1660. From John Michael Wright's monumental portrait of Charles II in his coronation robes and glittering silver-gilt which adorned the high-alter of Westminster Abbey during the king's coronation, to old master paintings, tapestries and glittering furniture, the exhibition will explore how the court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art in Europe.

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The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse

In March, the exhibition Maria Merian's Butterflies will tell the extraordinary story of German artist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian.  Including more than 50 beautiful natural history drawings from the Royal Collection acquired by George III, the exhibition will show how Merian brought the wonders of Suriname to Europe.

Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea, 1855, opening in August will focus exclusively on Roger Fenton's pioneering photographs of the Crimean war. Published in contemporary newspaper reports, his photographs showed the impact of war to the general public for the first time.  Through his often subtle and poetic interpretations Fenton created the genre of war photography, showing his extraordinary genius in capturing the futility of war.

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