National Art Gallery (Caracas)
The National Art Gallery (Galería de Arte Nacional; GAN) also known as Gallery of National Art is located in the Plaza Morelos area of Caracas, Venezuela. Opened in May 1976, the museum represents, the best of Venezuelan art in its 11 galleries and neo-classical architectural style with natural settings of willow trees and pond. It is a reflection of the creativity of Carlos Raúl Villanueva who had the reputation as the best-known architects of Venezuela.
The museum was founded in 1976 and is housed in a building which was designed in 1935 by Carlos Raúl Villanueva and adjoins the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. It features works of art of Venezuelan artists spanning some five centuries from the colonial days featuring colonial Caracas and the period of Simón Bolívar.
The well lighted museum, built of stone and marble, has large halls amidst scenic settings of pools and gardens. The museum has been extolled as a “patriotic celebration of national artists” reminiscent Venezuelan society. Built in the Neo-classical style, it has a courtyard and a pond with a weeping willow tree. While the main facades and its portico are built in different architectural styles, the cornices and columns are of the Neo-Classical style. The lower wall of the museum is decorated with three sculptural reliefs done by Francisco Narváez, Venezuela's first modernist sculptor.
There are more than 4,000 pieces in its eleven rooms (arranged in a circular layout), with international and Venezuelan art. It was opened in May 1976 and has paintings of more than 40 Venezuelan artists. The works include pre-Hispanic pieces, colonial-era paintings, sculptures, and Venezuelan works of modern art. The building features a top floor terrace which provides scenic views of the Caracas city, in particular the Parque Los Caobos.
The leading art cinema is also a part of the museum. Temporary exhibitions exhibit artistic culture from pre-Hispanic times to the modern kinetic art. Meyer Weismann of Caracas held his first solo exhibition of Venezuelan culture in this museum. Other famous artists whose paintings are exhibited in the museum are Arturo Michelena, Armando Reverón, Carlos Cruz Diez and Jesús Soto. The museum’s most notable piece is Michelena’s 1896 painting of Francisco de Miranda in a Spanish jail, Miranda en La Carraca.
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