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This exhibition focuses on the imagination, science and sublime skill behind the creation of an iconic work of art.

Making a Masterpiece: Bouts and Beyond takes its inspiration from a late 15th-century painting by the Dieric Bouts workshop, Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, on loan from the Bowes Museum. This vibrant painting thematises artistic creation as both divine inspiration and study of the world, and sparks three interconnected themes exploring how artists create images, ranging in time period from the northern Renaissance to the present day.

The displays – featuring significant loans from a wide range of national and regional collections, works drawn from York Art Gallery’s own rich collection as well as new commissions – consider how artists make images both materially and conceptually, and how they project ideas about their practices back out to the world. It includes paintings, drawings and prints by influential past masters such as Dieric Bouts, Hans Memling and Lucas Van Leyden as well as later representations of artists at work in the studio and artworks from the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of Dutch and Flemish art.

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