The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will present five masterpieces of Victorian art on loan from the Museo de Arte de Ponce
La icónica Flaming June de Frederic Leighton, La huida de una hereje, 1559 de John Everett Millais y la serie El rosal silvestre, de Edward Burne-Jones will run from October 8, 2022 through February 2024.
(August 31, 2022 – New York, New York and Ponce, Puerto Rico) The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will exhibit five of the most important paintings in the collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, from August 8 October 2022 through February 2024, both museums announced today. Loans include Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June (1895), an icon of Victorian painting; The Flight of a Heretic, 1559 (1857) by John Everett Millais and the three works that comprise The Wild Rosebush by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (all painted between 1871-73). Following a technical review of Flaming June by Met curators, scientists and imaging specialists, the five works will be presented in the museum’s galleries devoted to 19th- and early 20th-century European painting and sculpture.
“These five works are some of the greatest examples of Victorian painting in the world. Few works rival the beauty of Leighton’s Flaming June or the impressive artistic prowess of the paintings of Millais and Burne-Jones,” said Max Hollein, Director Marina Kellen French of the Met. “We are delighted to offer our visitors the unique opportunity to view these incredible works from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in a meaningful dialogue with the Met’s own collection. We extend our gratitude to our colleagues in Puerto Rico for their generosity and collaboration.”
“We are excited to collaborate with the Met as part of our efforts to share prestigious works from the Museo de Arte de Ponce while our main galleries remain closed due to necessary repairs following the devastating earthquakes of January 2020,” shared Cheryl Hartup, Director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce. “These five important paintings are part of the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico. In fact, Flaming June is one of the most beloved works of art on the island, and one of the most recognized and reproduced images of British art. We hope that the public will take advantage this extraordinary opportunity to see these works in New York.
The selection of the pieces on loan was carried out with the aim of highlighting relationships between the works in the collections of the Museo de Arte de Ponce and those of the Met. Flaming June and The Wild Rose series, for example, will be exhibited alongside works by Leighton and Burne-Jones in Gallery 800, a grand gateway to other galleries of the period. Gallery 808, dedicated to 19th-century British painting, will host The Flight of a Heretic, 1559.
It should be noted that the presentation will bring together Flaming June and Leighton’s Lachrymae (1894-95, The Met). These are two of Leighton’s last monumental oil paintings, made during the same period and first exhibited together in the artist’s studio in 1895. However, their formal and thematic connections have never been fully appreciated. Although the two works have been in several exhibitions together, this is the first time they will be shown side by side.
The Wild Rose Small Series, which includes The Prince Enters the Wood, The King and His Court and The Sleeping Beauty, will be presented alongside Burne-Jones’s The Love Song (1868-77, The Met), which was commissioned by the same patron, William Graham, whose romantic tastes profoundly shaped the artist’s style. This reunion can only happen at the Met, as The Love Song’s fragile condition has prevented it from traveling since 2006.
The Flight of a Heretic, 1559 will have as its counterpart Ferdinand attracted by Millais’s Ariel (1848-49), which is at the Met on long-term loan courtesy of a private collection. The presentation of two early works by Millais cannot be seen in any other museum outside the UK. It encapsulates the artistic development of Millais, the most gifted of all the Pre-Raphaelites, as his strict naturalism gave way to a broadly attractive style.
In the weeks leading up to its public unveiling, Flaming June will undergo a technical examination and analysis at the Met’s Departments of Painting Conservation and Scientific Research, using techniques including infrared reflectography, X-radiography and macro-X-ray fluorescence. . The painting has never before been subjected to such in-depth study, raising the potential to uncover new insights into the development of Leighton’s composition.
This collaboration has been coordinated by Cheryl Hartup, Director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, and Alison Hokanson, Associate Curator of European Paintings at the Met. The Flaming June technical examination will be conducted by Met staff members Charlotte Hale, Conservator of Paintings; Silvia A. Centeno, Research Scientist; and Evan Read, Technical Documentation Manager, with the support of Lidia Aravena, Chief Curator of the Museo de Arte de Ponce.
This collaboration will be accompanied by an academic study program.
About the Museo de Arte de Ponce
The Museo de Arte de Ponce has one of the most important collections of Victorian art outside of the United Kingdom. Luis A. Ferré, the museum’s visionary founder, amassed an extraordinary and very personal collection of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art between 1959 and 1974 that has put Puerto Rico on the map for those interested in this subject. At the time, these works were out of fashion, but Ferré’s strategy was to buy quality works, regardless of their popularity in the market, and trust his eye and intuition. Today, the Museo de Arte de Ponce is internationally recognized as an art museum with an outstanding collection of Victorian paintings, a notable collection of Baroque paintings, and extensive collections of Puerto Rican art from the 18th to the 21st century. For more than six decades, the museum has excelled in the areas of research, conservation, and education, connecting the community and its visitors with the arts. museoarteponce.org
About the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens, businessmen and financiers, as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, the Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for all to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic New York City sites: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also participate in the Met experience online. Since its founding, the Met has always aspired to be more than a treasure trove of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes to life in the museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures. metmuseum.org