BNY Mellon Sponsor's statement
“You would hardly believe how difficult it is to place a figure alone on a canvas, and to concentrate all the interest on this single and unique figure and still keep it living and real,” said Edouard Manet in 1880. ‘Manet: Portraying Life’ is the first exhibition to examine in depth the artist’s portraits and the way in which he transformed his sitters into actors in his scenes of everyday French life.
The art collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon and his wife bought a number of Manet’s paintings, later bequeathing many of them to galleries and museums for future generations to enjoy. Indeed, one of the paintings featured in the exhibition, George Moore in the Artist’s Garden (c. 1879), took pride of place in the dining room of the Mellons’ New York home for many years before it was bequeathed to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in 2006.
BNY Mellon continues to be committed to the arts as part of our global philanthropic endeavours, and our enduring partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts has spanned many projects. As a champion of public access and education, the Royal Academy engages with a broad audience through its exhibitions, educational activities and publications – a key principle that also informs BNY Mellon’s international programme of arts sponsorship. As the official Partner of the Royal Academy of Arts and a major advocate of arts education around the world, BNY Mellon is thrilled to support the RA in bringing this insightful body of work to London.