• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

North East Connected

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Sin, The Art of Transgression at The Auckland Project (7)-min

Masterpieces by Rembrandt and Lucas Cranach, and works of art by celebrated artists Tracey Emin and Ron Mueck, will be on display in an exhibition at Auckland Castle, taking place from Saturday 17th June to 1st October 2023, which takes its theme from the fascinating relationship between sin and art.  


Sin: The Art of Transgression has been organised by the National Gallery, London in association with The Auckland Project and brings together works of art that span centuries, in a unique presentation which looks at the theological ideas and depictions of ‘sinful’ everyday behaviours. 


It brings together exceptional masterpieces from the National Gallery’s own collection, including Rembrandt’s The Woman Taken in Adultery (1644) and Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Venus and Cupid (1529), and leading contemporary artists, including works on loan by the UK’s Tracey Emin and renowned Australian artist Ron Mueck.  


The exhibition will also include Maíno’s The Penitent Magalene (1600s), from The Auckland Project’s own collection with the overall exhibition encouraging visitors to define their own meaning of ‘Sin’. 


Part of a touring exhibition to make the National Gallery’s collections more accessible, the display has been popular at other venues across the UK including The Arc in Winchester, York Art Gallery and Perth Museum and Art Gallery in Scotland. 


Charlotte Grobler Auckland Castle’s curator said, “The Auckland Project is quickly developing a reputation for bringing nationally and internationally renowned works of art to Bishop Auckland. Last year’s display in the Spanish Gallery featuring Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross attracted thousands of people, and this summer we are thrilled to be working with the National Gallery on its exhibition at Auckland Castle, which is another landmark moment for the town.”  


Dr Joost Joustra, the National Gallery’s curator added: “Sin in many ways defines humankind and therefore defines the art that humans create. Sin has been the subject of countless works of art that have been made for centuries across the world. Just think of the many depictions of Adam and Eve eating forbidden fruit, perhaps the most famous biblical story of them all.  


“The term is also used more generally for something that is desired precisely because it is not allowed. Many pictures show us ‘forbidden fruit’ without any trace of the fruit mentioned in the Bible.” 


Entry to Sin: The Art of Transgression is free with The Auckland Project Annual Pass, which also gives visitors access to The Auckland Project’s other attractions in Bishop Auckland, including Auckland Castle Gardens; the Spanish Gallery; the Mining Art Gallery and the Faith Museum, opening in autumn 2023.  


The annual pass costs £25 for adults with family tickets available and is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. To plan your visit and purchase an annual pass visit aucklandproject.org.