Films offer unrivalled access to celebrated works of art

Reflection with Two Children (Self Portrait), 1965 (oil on canvas) by Freud, Lucian (1922-2011); 91x91 cm

Gain an unprecedented insight into the works of three of the world’s most famous artists at a County Durham theatre.

The Gala Theatre and Cinema in Durham is showing three highly engaging films about Leonard da Vinci, Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo as part of the acclaimed Exhibition on Screen programme. This ground-breaking series sees leading directors work alongside international museums and galleries to create films that offer a cinematic immersion into celebrated works of art. Each film includes insights from world renowned historians and art critics.

On Tuesday 29 October at 6pm and Thursday 21 November at 2.30pm, Leonardo: The Works will kick off the season, as part of the global celebration marking the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

Many feature films have showcased the genius of Leonardo but none have ever examined in such detail the most crucial element of all: his art. Leonardo’s peerless paintings will be at the core of the film, captured in staggering high-definition as never seen in cinemas before.

From a renaissance master to one of the foremost 20th century portraitists, Lucian Freud: A Self Portrait will transport cinema goers to a collaborative exhibition by the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The film, which will be screened at The Gala on Tuesday 14 January at 6pm and Thursday 30 January at 2.30pm, will showcase more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings in which the British artist turned his unflinching eye firmly on himself.

The Two Fridas, 1939 (oil on canvas) by Kahlo, Frida (1907-54); 173.5×173 cm; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico

Freud’s contemporary Frida Kahlo is the next artist under the spotlight. On Monday 6 July at 6pm, Gala audiences can journey through the life of one of the most prevalent female icons of all time.

Kahlo used the canvas as a mirror through all stages of her turbulent life. Featuring key exhibitions and interviews, the film explores the extraordinary symbolism and themes in these personal canvases to seek a deeper understanding of the real Frida Kahlo.

Robin Byers, Gala Theatre manager, said: “These spectacular films will be a feast for the eyes, allowing audiences to get up close to some of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Whether you are a fine art devotee or just want to find out more about the lives of the individual artists, the Exhibition on Screen series is not to be missed.”

Tickets for each film cost £10, £8 for concessions and £7 for Gala members. To book, visit 03000 266 600 or


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