Giambattista TIEPOLO<br/>
<em>The Banquet of Cleopatra</em> (1743-1744) <!-- (conservation - mid treatment 6) --><br />

oil on canvas<br />
250.3 x 357.0 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Felton Bequest, 1933<br />
103-4<br />

back to Media Releases
Giambattista TIEPOLO
The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743-1744)
Media Release • 17 Apr 20


The National Gallery of Victoria has opened its State collection and programming virtually to offer the public access to the NGV Collection during the temporary closure of the Gallery. 

Virtual tours, online collection galleries, eBooks and activities for children will be available via the NGV website and social media channels as the Gallery continues to share its collection of over 75,000 works with the public. During the temporary Gallery closure new content will be uploaded to the NGV Channel regularly, offering deeper insights into the collection and displays each week. 

Exhibitions Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and KAWS: Companionship In The Age Of Loneliness will be available as virtual tours. These free curator-led tours will give audiences who had an upcoming visit planned a chance to see the exhibitions and fans the opportunity to revisit.  

This is a wonderful initiative from the NGV, connecting people to their community and the wider creative world at a time where so many feel isolated. While the NGV is temporarily closed to the public, this is a fantastic opportunity to show support to our world leading creative and cultural agencies and interact with the NGV’s extraordinary state collection, said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley MP.   

In these challenging times art has an important role to play in offering solace and inspiration. With over 90% of the NGV Collection available online and a host of content produced specially for this period, the Gallery remains accessible even while our doors are temporarily closed. We encourage people to continue to explore and enjoy the NGV Collection from home said Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria. 


Following a digitisation project six years in the making, the majority of the NGV Collection can now be viewed online with audiences able to search for artists and artworks or view highlights by curatorial theme. With more of the Collection accessible online than on display, audiences have the opportunity to discover something new in the State collection. Highlight works online include John Brack’s Collins St 5pm, 1955; Spirit of Herbarium couture dress by Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior 2017 Spring-Summer collection; Grace Cossington Smith’s The Bridge in Curve, 1930; Guerrilla Girls’ Token Times, 1995; Katsushika Hokusai’s The great wave off Kanagawa, c.1830; Emily Kam Kngwarray’s Big Yam Dreaming, 1995; Reko Rennie’s Initiation, 2013; and Giambattista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra, 1743-1744.  


NGV eBooks and curatorial essays offer in-depth insight into the Collection. Recently published free online texts include a Collecting Comme eBook and illustrated essays focused on the practice of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, the 2019 Architecture Commission In Absence – by Yhonnie Scarce and Edition Office – and the Collection-based exhibition Japanese Modernism.  

Recent highlights from the bi-monthly NGV Magazine will be available online. NGV Magazine takes readers into the Gallery to discover the stories behind recent acquisitions, conservation projects and artists’ lives, and also includes the popular Art In Focus column, which breaks down the elements of artworks to provide a deeper understanding.  

Long-form essays by curators, conservators and academics about works in the NGV Collection are published in the Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria. In continuous publication for almost 60 years, the entire back catalogue of Art Journal is now available to read online.  

Listen and download NGV App  

Audiences can download the NGV App, which gives virtual access to NGV International and NGV Australia from the comfort of the user’s home with guided tours of artworks narrated by NGV curators, artists and special guests. Audio tours take listeners through each gallery and each floor, drawing out highlights of the collection as narrated by curators, artists and public figures.   

Watch NGV Channel  

Virtual tours will provide guided tours of current exhibitions, beginning with tours of the Comme des Garçons exhibition Collecting Comme and NGV Indigenous Art collection exhibition Marking Time. Immersive virtual tours provide online visitors with access to exhibitions, enabling viewers to zoom in close to art works. New tours and videos will be offered regularly during the temporary Gallery closure, making the Collection available anywhere and anytime.  

KAWS: Companionship In The Age Of Loneliness will be available as a virtual tour on Saturday 28 March. Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines will be available as a virtual tour on Saturday 4 April. 

Audiences can view short behind the scenes documentaries from the making of exhibitions and interviews with artists, designers and curators on the NGV Channel. Recent highlights include the history of Keith Haring’s 1984 NGV Waterwall mural, interviews with the Dior creative team during The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, Lucy McRae’s art and technology interventions, and Petrina Hicks’ perspectives on portraiture photography.  

Follow NGV social media #NGVEveryDay 

Audiences can see regular up-to-date storytelling and insights into the NGV Collection by following the Gallery on social media and via the hashtag #NGVEveryDay. The Gallery will connect audiences with the NGV Collection through storytelling about works and ideas drawn from the Collection, NGV publications, curator tours and talks. Audiences can also sign up to the NGV’s e-news to receive regular NGV digital content, including essays, NGV Magazine and publication excerpts, plus recommendations about how to connect with the collection online.  

Children and families 

A selection of NGV Kids’ activity sheets are available for kids and families to enjoy at home during this time. These interactive games have been specially designed to promote active thinking and hands on creativity. Art has the power to positively impact children’s lives and their wellbeing in difficult times. We are continuing to provide opportunities for children to engage with art and explore their creativity through NGV Kids activities available online. It would be great to see fridges across Australia covered in children’s pictures over the coming weeks, said Kate Ryan, Curator of Children’s Programs, National Gallery of Victoria. 

NGV Schools Virtual Excursions and online learning resources  

All schools can continue to stay in touch with the NGV with free virtual excursions. Schools can join an NGV educator via video conference for a live and interactive introduction to the NGV Collection and special exhibitions from your own classroom. The Virtual Excursion program includes Artful Encounters, which introduces students to highlights of the NGV Collection, and exhibition related Virtual Excursions for Top Arts 2020, Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness. Online learning resources for students and teachers include a dedicated Top Arts Hub for VCE Art and Studio Arts students, and a range of exhibition and Collection-related resources.   

NGV’s art therapy reading list  

From quiet contemplation to a hands-on creative outlet, art and artists have much to offer in challenging times. The NGV design store has created a reading list for arts lovers searching for books to enjoy at home 

Fully Coherent PlanDavid Shrigley  Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley offers a plan for a better society.  

Song SpiralsGay’wu Group of Women – women’s songlines and songspirals from Yolngu country in far north Australia.  

Hilma af KlintTracey Bashkoff – pioneering abstract artist Hilma af Klint’s legacy, following instructions by the artist to hide more than 1000 artworks from the world until 20 years after her death, when the world would be ready for them. 

What is Painting?, Julian Bell  artist Julian Bell explores painting, from art history to modern art and digital imagery.  

Tate Watercolour Manual – Lessons from the Great Masters, Tony Smibert, Joyce H Townsend – master the art of watercolour painting at home under the tuition of an artist and an art conservator.  


Explore the NGV Collection 

Read NGV’s annual art publication Art Journal  

Download NGV eBooks 

Visit the NGV Channel 

Go on a virtual tour of NGV galleries  

Download the NGV App 

Follow NGV social channels using the handle @NGVMelbourne  

Sign up to the NGV’s e-news  

Access NGV kids resources 

Schools can book Virtual Excursions at  

Online Learning Resources for schools 

Top Arts Hub 

NGV design store 

NGV International and NGV Australia are currently temporarily closed to the public from Monday March 16 until Monday April 13, in a precautionary measure that considers the current public health situation. Updates can be found online at