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Jan van Huysum Visits: Great Yarmouth (1–6 June 2021)

Issued June 2021

Today (Tuesday 1 June 2021) marks the beginning of the National Gallery’s touring exhibition Jan van Huysum Visits, with Jan Van Huysum’s magnificent Flowers in a Terracotta Vase (1736–7) going on display at PRIMEYARC, Great Yarmouth, a community art space which was formerly the department store Debenhams.

Image: Jan van Huysum's 'Flowers in a Terracotta Vase' on display at PRIMEYARC, Great Yarmouth, the first location of the 'Jan van Huysum Visits' UK tour

At its core, 'Jan van Huysum Visits' is about engagement with local communities, with PRIMEYARC located at the heart of the bustling Market Gates Shopping Centre. The Great Yarmouth tour dates also coincide with collaborative community project 'Yarmouth Springs Eternal' (May 19–20 June), an exhibition showcasing work by artists exploring the links between nature and communities alongside artworks created with local residents.

This display will focus on ‘Keep Learning’, one of the six ‘Ways to Wellbeing’ which will be explored throughout the tour. Seeing a painting by an 18th--century Dutch artist appear in this unusual and unexpected venue, with its amazing arrangement of fruits and flowers, offers lots to experience and spark interest. At each venue, visitors will receive a beautifully designed activity pack with information on the artist, the varieties of flowers in the painting, ideas for art activities, and even a pack of seeds to grow their own flowers at home.

Image: Jan van Huysum, 'Flowers in a Terracotta Vase', 1736–7

Jan van Huysum (1682–1749) was a native of Amsterdam and the last of the distinguished still-life painters active in the Northern Netherlands in the 17th and early 18th centuries, an internationally celebrated artist in his lifetime. His spectacular 'Flowers in a Terracotta Vase' – which shows over 30 species of flowers and plants in bloom, unfurling in exquisite detail – is no shy, hide-in-a-corner painting. It’s meant to dazzle and it does. Van Huysum is after, and achieves, excess: a celebration of nature, an entertaining puzzle and a display of wealth, culture and fashion. 'Flowers in a Terracotta Vase' celebrates the longevity of the painted image and the enduring impact art can have on our hearts and minds. The Gallery invites audiences from across the nation to engage with this splendid picture during the longer, brighter days that summer will bring.

'Jan van Huysum Visits' is promoting ways in which art and culture can support wellbeing and reach audiences who have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and the UK lockdown. It is part of the Gallery’s national touring exhibitions programme which aims to share paintings across the UK, creating a range of ways for the widest possible audience to explore and be inspired by the collection. The painting will travel to five additional locations across the nation in summer 2021 covering Cornwall, the East Midlands, South Yorkshire, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, says, ‘This astounding, large, flower painting will make an unexpected appearance in unexpected venues across the country. I hope it will make people think about art and the beauty of nature, encourage their own creativity and inspire them to visit their own local museum or art collection.’

This project is supported by Art Explora - Académie des Beaux-Arts Award

Insurance has been gifted by Blackwall Green

Notes to editors

Image caption

Jan van Huysum
'Flowers in a Terracotta Vase'
Oil on canvas
133.5 x 91.5 cm
© The National Gallery, London

PRIMEYARC is a space in the former Debenhams run by originalprojects; an arts organisation and charity that works in Great Yarmouth to deliver an artist-led collaborative programme in response to the place, working with the people, industries and heritage to uncover, support, create and promote cultural experience, assets and enterprise. PRIMEYARC has space for exhibitions and workshops, a shop area selling work made by local artists, designers and makers, artists’ studios, and a Muay Thai kickboxing club.

Address: PRIMEYARC, Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth, NR30

Opening hours: Wednesdays–Saturdays, 12–5.30pm and Sundays 12–4pm

Twitter @originalproject

Facebook @orig_proj

Instagram #primeyarc, #GreatYarmouth

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the late 13th to the early 20th century. The collection includes works by Bellini, Cézanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh and Velázquez. The Gallery’s key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors. Admission free. More at

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Art Explora

Aware that culture has the power to initiate dialogue, bring people together and make us stronger, French entrepreneur and patron Frédéric Jousset created Art Explora in November 2019, a philanthropic foundation with an international, roving and digital ambition. Renewing the promise of making culture more accessible, Art Explora aims to bridge the cultural divide, notably by broadcasting digital content and engaging in innovative projects available to all and thereby creating new meetings between works and a broad and diverse audience, all the while supporting creation, cultural actors and their initiatives.


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