Following the Government announcement yesterday, museums and galleries in Cambridge will be closed to the public as part of a period of national/local restrictions. So, with great sadness, we will not be able to reopen as planned on 2 January 2021.
This in-focus exhibition is centred on a new acquisition: Jan Adam Kruseman’s posthumous portrait of the celebrated adventurer, Giovanni Battista Belzoni, known as ‘The Great Belzoni’. Painted in 1824, it was accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by H.M. Government from Daniel Katz Ltd and presented to the Museum in 2018 (in honour of ex‐Director Tim Knox).
The portrait is displayed alongside paintings and watercolours from the Fitzwilliam’s wider collections, which reflect the allure of Egypt and Egyptian antiquities to British artists of the nineteenth century. Part of the exhibition focuses on the remarkable character of Belzoni, his commercial interest in ancient Egypt, and his extraordinary gift to the Fitzwilliam in 1823 of the sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III.