I have great news for you – we’ll have a chance to enjoy some fantastic art shows in European museums in 2023. They span from historical ones to retrospectives dedicated to contemporary artists. To help you decide which ones to visit, here is my selection of the best exhibitions in European museums in 2023.
15 Best exhibitions in European museums 2023
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When I started researching the best exhibitions in European museums in 2023, I realised it would be hard to pick only fifteen. There are so many great exhibitions scheduled this year. It looks like 2023 is going to be a real art treat.
Another thing I noticed when looking into some exciting art events in 2023 was that many of these exhibitions will be travelling between the two or three museums. This is fantastic because even a wider audience will get a chance to enjoy them.
⤷ Read more: 15 Best museums in Europe you have to visit this year
1 – David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away)
Lightroom, London (UK) / 25 January – 23 April 2023
Although he’s been present in the contemporary art scene for decades, David Hockney always pushes its boundaries and surprises us with something new. During this show in London, you’ll see some of his recent artworks next to the well-known ones transformed into a multi-sensory experience.
2 – Dana Schutz
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (Denmark) / 9 February – 11 June 2023
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, located some thirty minutes from Copenhagen, will host a great Dana Schutz retrospective. The American artist will show the artworks produced during the twenty years of her art career, focusing on works recently acquired by that museum.
⤷ TIP: The exhibition will travel to Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris later this year.
3 – Vermeer
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (The Netherlands) / 10 February – 7 June 2023
One of the most awaited and best exhibitions in European museums in 2023 is, without a doubt, the one dedicated to the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is home to four of his paintings. However, for this show, they gathered 28 out of 37 paintings made by famous artist. It’s a unique opportunity to see them all in one place.
⤷ TIP: Tickets for this exhibition are sold out in a moment. However, keep an eye on the Rijksmuseum website and Tiqets in case they will be selling some additional tickets.
4 – Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance
V&A Museum, London (UK) / 11 February – 11 June 2023
Donatello was one of the best Renaissance sculptors leaving his mark in numerous places in Italy. This year, you’ll be able to see some of his best work at this largest-ever exhibition dedicated to him in the UK. V&A Museum planned some great additional programs with this exhibition, so check their website to join them.
⤷ Read more: 10 Cultural spots to visit in Florence
5 – Golden Mummies of Egypt
Manchester Museum (UK) / From 18 February 2023
Manchester Museum reopened its doors on 18th February 2023. It’s marking that with a fantastic exhibition focusing on the idea of the afterlife in Ancient Egypt. If you are in Manchester, don’t miss this fantastic exhibition.
⤷ TIP: Although the entrance to this exhibition is free, you need to book your ticket online. You can do that on this link.
6 – After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art
The National Gallery, London (UK) / 25 March – 13 August 2023
The exhibition organised in the National Gallery will focus on the work of Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. It will examine their influence on the next generation of European painters. It will showcase that with more than one hundred paintings and statues that were made between 1880 and 1914.
⤷ Read more: Impressionists at Musée d’Orsay
7 – Manet / Degas
Musée d’Orsay, Paris (France) / 28 March – 23 July 2023
Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas lived and worked at the same time in Paris and significantly marked the beginnings of modern art. But, at the same time, they couldn’t be more different. One of the best spring exhibitions in Paris will examine their differences and possible similarities.
⤷ TIP: The exhibition will travel to the MET in New York later this year. It will be on display there from September 2023.
8 – Hugo van der Goes: Between Pain and Bliss
Gemaldegalerie, Berlin (Germany) / 31 March – 16 July 2023
Hugo van der Goes was one of the most important Flemish masters from the second half of the 15th century. Later on, he became an archetype of a troubled artist. Twelve out of fourteen of his artworks will be displayed at this Berlin exhibition. So, it’s an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into the work of this fascinating painter.
9 – Basquiat x Warhol. Painting 4 Hands
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (France) / 5 April – 28 August 2023
This one is on the top of my list of the best exhibitions in European museums in 2023. Two of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michael Basquiat, were also close friends. During 1984 and 1985, they worked on a series of 160 paintings together. This year, the biggest-ever exhibition dedicated to that partnership will be displayed at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
10 – Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian
Tate Modern, London (UK) / 20 April – 3 September 2023
Although it seems like they have nothing in common, with this exhibition, Tate Modern Museum in London is putting Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian in dialogue. Both artists were pioneers of abstract art and influenced generations of painters after them. The exhibition will be quite extensive, with more than 250 artworks on display.
⤷ Read more: What to see at the Tate Modern Museum in London
11 – Luxury and Power: Persia to Greece
British Museum, London (UK) / 4 May – 13 August 2023
British Museum in London established itself as a place where some of the best historical exhibitions in European museums are organised each year. In 2023, they are organising an expo about the luxurious objects of power in ancient Persia and Greece.
⤷ Read more: How to visit a museum – The guide for the perfect museum visit
12 – Michelangelo and the Consequences
Albertina, Vienna (Austria) / 15 September 2023 – 7 January 2024
Albertina in Vienna is home to a valuable collection of rare Michelangelo’s drawings. Because of their frugality, they put them on display very rarely. However, they will make a centrepiece of one of the best exhibitions in European museums in 2023. Next to them, the museum will display drawings of some famous artists from the 16th and 17th centuries, like Raphael, Rubens or Dürer. So, visitors will have an excellent opportunity to explore Michelangelo’s influence on those artists.
13 – Marina Abramović
Royal Academy, London (UK) / 23 September – 10 December 2023
One of the top art events in 2023 will be the Marina Abramović retrospective. She has been the leading conceptual and performance artist active for more than forty years. For this exhibition, Abramović is going to prepare some new work. However, many of her older performances will also be restaged by the younger artists.
14 – Frans Hals
National Gallery, London (UK) / 30 September 2023 – 21 January 2024
At the end of the year, the National Gallery in London will host an exhibition dedicated to Frans Hals. He was one of the most popular Dutch 17th-century painters. Famous for his portraits of relaxed, laughing and sometimes drunk contemporaries, Frans Hals isn’t, without reason, one of the most beloved artists from the Dutch Golden Age.
⤷ Read more: Dutch Golden Age heritage sites in the Netherlands
15 – Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise: The last months
Musée d’Orsay, Paris (France) / 3 October 2023 – 4 February 2024
Van Gogh spent the last two months of his life in the small French village Auvers-sur-Oise. During that time, he painted around 70 paintings, creating more than one daily. This exhibition will explore his last days while exhibiting some of his famous artworks created during that time.
⤷ Read more: Locations linked to Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise
We can absolutely agree that 2023 will be a fantastic year for all art enthusiasts. So, consider visiting some of these great art shows when planning your trips this year. This selection of the 15 best exhibitions in European museums in 2023 will make your choice easier.
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Cover photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash