From our team here at NGV, we would like to express our very best wishes to our community at this time. We are currently closed to the public and will reopen on Saturday, 27 June, 2020.

In line with Victorian Chief Health Officer’s guidance, the NGV will implement a variety of public health and physical distancing measures including free timed ticketing, appropriate queue management and increased deep cleaning of facilities, as well as increased hand sanitiser stations.

We encourage you to continue to visit our website and follow #NGVEveryDay on social media for updates on our reopening and daily inspiration.

We are very grateful for the loyalty of the NGV community and look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Itō Jakuchū Five hundred arhats 1789

Five hundred arhats 1789

Itō Jakuchū’s paintings give us a feeling of journeying through an idealistic and dreamlike setting which stems from his Buddhist ideals. In this rare imagined vision of his large sculptural garden project at Sekihō-ji temple in Kyoto, we see a gate inscribed with the character yūge (playful spirit of the Buddha), representing an entrance to enlightenment. Once entering the garden we journey across bridges and along causeways, encountering the enlightened Buddha Śākyamuni conducting a sermon, arhats (enlightened beings) meditating in a cave and hundreds of stylised figures wandering about, floating on leaves, riding turtles or simply resting and drinking tea among the hills.