The Riverside Library, Gallery and Visitor Information in Haverfordwest is welcoming a very special exhibition this spring, as part of the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour, sponsored by Christie’s.
Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas will form the centrepiece in an exhibition drawn from the National Welsh Portrait Collection at The National Library of Wales, which will be held at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest. The exhibition will contextualise the painting through an exploration of the female form in art, and analyse the theory of the male gaze in portraits through the eyes of both female and male artists such as Seren Morgan Jones and Sir Kyffin Williams.
The exhibition will be open from 14 May – 3 September 2022 and will run alongside the current exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past & Present.
Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services for Pembrokeshire County Council said:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity finally to be part of the Masterpiece Tour after the pandemic forced us to put our plans on hold. The arrival of the Degas will have a huge impact on the community and the county’s many visitors, and will inspire, illuminate and raise ambition within the county.”
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales added:
“It is wonderful to be able to work with Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Gallery to bring the 'Masterpiece Tour' to this region of Wales which gives the residents of Pembrokeshire and those visiting the area the opportunity to see the Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas.”
An exciting series of events and activities are being planned to support the exhibition, such as a special talk about Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by one of the National Gallery’s curators. Please see the Riverside webpage and Facebook page for further information. Or contact the Riverside Library on 01437 775244.
The Riverside is a flagship cultural centre in the heart of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Opened in December 2018, it features a 21st century library, visitor information, coffee shop and a national government indemnity gallery space which showcases collections from The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. This high quality facility is unusual and pioneering and is already playing a central part in regenerating the town and wider area of Pembrokeshire.
**Mae'r datganiad yma hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg**
Nia Wyn Dafydd
Additional notes for Editors
About The National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales is the biggest library in Wales and serves as the nation's memory. As a legal deposit library it has the right to receive a free copy of everything published in Britain and Ireland. Around 4,000 new publications are collected every week that add to The National Library's collection of:
• 6 million books and newspapers
• 950,000 photographs
• 60,000 works of art
• 1.5 million maps
• 7 million feet of film
• 40,000 manuscripts
• 250,000 hours of video
• 1,900 cubic metres of archives
About the National Gallery
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, Cezanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh and Velazquez. The Gallery's key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors. To find out more about the NationaI GaIlery's strategic aims please visit: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/media/25328/strategic-plan_2018-2023.pdf.
Christie's has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie's offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie's global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christies.com provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie's accessible to all.
Hélène Rouart in her Father's Study
Oil on canvas
162.5 x 121 cm
© The National Gallery, London
Hélène Rouart stands in her father's study, her hands resting on the back of his empty chair. Works from his art collection can be seen behind her, including three Egyptian statues in a glass case and, above her, a Chinese wall hanging. Although Degas set down the final composition with little subsequent alteration, he did rework areas of the surface, even applying pastel directly to the canvas.
Hélène was the daughter of the engineer and amateur artist Henri Rouart, a friend of Degas, who had a substantial collection of contemporary French painting, including work by Degas. When Hélène was nine, Degas had painted a portrait of her sitting on her father's knee. She was 23 and married when this portrait was painted, but Degas does not show her wedding ring, perhaps to emphasise her status as a daughter rather than as a wife.