As part of its commitment to supporting regional galleries, the National Gallery took one of the Collection’s most-loved works on tour in 2014 as part of the three-year Masterpiece Tour.
The Execution of Maximilian by Edouard Manet depicts the last moments of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian after he was captured by Mexican forces and executed alongside two of his generals in 1867. After Manet’s death the painting was cut into smaller fragments, some of which were sold separately. Edgar Degas eventually purchased all of the surviving fragments and reassembled them on a single canvas. It has been part of the National Gallery Collection since 1918.
‘The Execution of Maximilian’ visited three regional galleries in the UK on the tour:
- The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury Museums and Galleries (17 January – 16 March 2014)
- The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle (22 March - 18 May 2014)
- Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, The University of Warwick, Coventry (4 October – 6 December 2014)
The Masterpiece Tour is part of the National Gallery’s commitment to promote the understanding, knowledge and appreciation of Old Master paintings to as wide an audience as possible. This opportunity to bring hugely popular National Gallery paintings to the public’s doorstep was made possible by the generous support of Christie’s.