Courtauld to ship Manet's naked lunch painting to Hull

Heritage Lottery Fund pledges £9.4m towards project that will see London gallery loan Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe and other famous canvases to museums throughout the UK

A version of Édouard Manet’s once scandalous painting Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe is heading to Hull next year, where it will hang in the Ferens gallery during the city’s reign as UK city of culture.

The image of a relaxed and confidently naked woman sitting among suited and booted men was so shocking in 19th-century France that it was rejected by the Paris Salon and shown instead in the famous Salon des Refusés in 1863.

The Manet is one of several masterpieces the Courtauld Institute of Art is to loan to regional museums across the UK. It is part of a project that will also involve the redevelopment of the gallery and art institute’s own building in central London.

The Heritage Lottery Fund today announced a £9.4m grant towards the first phase of the scheme. The Courtauld’s donors have pledged an additional £9m.

The phased project will include restoration work on the museum’s existing galleries, new display spaces for 20th-century art and temporary exhibitions, and a new education centre. There will also be improved spaces for storage and the Courtauld’s conservation department. An online archive will make 1.1m images from the photographic collection publicly available.

The Courtauld is to announce new partnerships with cities including Norwich, Preston, and Belfast in regions that are connected with the textile industry on which the Courtauld Ltd fortune was based, which in turn funded the art institute.

Two Dancers on the Stage by Degas is on loan from the Courtauld to the Herbert Art Gallery, in Coventry.
Well travelled … Two Dancers on the Stage by Edgar Degas is on loan to the Herbert Art Gallery, in Coventry. Photograph: Samuel Courtauld Trust

A pilot project has been launched with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, which has borrowed an important group of works by Edgar Degas, while Claude Monet’s Vase of Flowers will travel to the Harris Museum in Preston.

The Courtauld Institute of Art was founded in London in 1932 to teach art history using its own splendid collection, which was originally housed in the Portman Square townhouse of its patron, the textile millionaire Samuel Courtauld.

In 1989, it moved to its current stately but awkward premises in Somerset House on the Strand, where the teaching rooms, research spaces and galleries fit into a few grand halls and a warren of smaller rooms and converted corridors across several levels. In the 18th century its Great Exhibition Room was the home of the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy, before it moved to Burlington House on Piccadilly. Even then space was a problem: contemporary illustrations show the paintings covering every inch of the walls, from skirting board to ceiling.


Maev Kennedy

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Hull works towards securing its City of Culture legacy
Residents hope regeneration will continue long after funding runs out

Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent

08, Jun, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
Monet's water lilies to star at National Gallery in London
Impressionist artists to ‘brighten walls’ of gallery in major exhibition from September 2021

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

11, Aug, 2020 @1:54 PM

Article image
Rubens, Manet, Bruegel … curator picks his gems from the reopened Courtauld Gallery
Art historian Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen welcomes his top five attractions back to the refurbished exhibition space

Vanessa Thorpe

06, Nov, 2021 @3:30 PM

Article image
Dalí, Duchamp, Basquiat and beards: the best art of autumn 2017
Modigliani seduces, the Turner hits Hull, Rebecca Warren shakes up St Ives – and Gilbert and George have a close shave with facial hair – we pick the season’s most eye-popping art exhibitions

Jonathan Jones

18, Sep, 2017 @5:00 AM

Inventing Impressionism review – a superb exhibition in every respect
In this enthralling selection of the radical impressionist masterpieces he bought in bulk, Paul Durand-Ruel emerges as the inventor of the modern art industry

Laura Cumming

08, Mar, 2015 @7:00 AM

Article image
From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism, Paintings from the Clark – review

A rarity among rich American collectors of the industrial era, Sterling Clark knew a great impressionist when he saw one, writes Laura Cumming

Laura Cumming

07, Jul, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
The French Impressionists rediscovered: ‘They didn’t know their works would be masterpieces’
With paintings from Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and others, National Gallery of Victoria’s new exhibition encourages audiences to look behind the blockbuster

Elizabeth Flux

25, Jun, 2021 @8:00 PM

Article image
'Wreckers of civilisation': Hull embraces its frenzied sexual past
Our critic hits the city of culture to find its best visual art – from a giant blade pointing to Primark to type-your-own street signs and a band of sexual outlaws

Adrian Searle

05, Feb, 2017 @3:00 PM

Article image
Floods, locust farms and teens in charge: Blast Theory's vision of Hull in 2097
The experimental troupe are giving the UK city of culture a glimpse of what it might look like in 80 years’ time – and it isn’t pretty. Our writer travels to Denmark to meet the team behind this hi-tech invasion

Andrew Dickson

10, Oct, 2017 @4:42 PM

Article image
The dark side of Andy Warhol and Britain's side-road surrealists – the week in art
What we will see in the king of pop art’s mirror, British stand up to be counted and a rare Canaletto gets an outing

Jonathan Jones

06, Mar, 2020 @11:37 AM