Entertainment & Arts

Manet portrait's arrival at Royal Academy delayed by snow

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Media captionThe Royal Academy in London is opening the biggest ever exhibition of Manet's work in the UK

The Royal Academy's blockbuster Manet exhibition is all set to open this week - but one portrait is absent thanks to the British weather.

Manet's The Amazon (1875), showing a woman on horseback, was all set to be flown in from Brazil's Sao Paulo Museum of Arts last week.

But the journey was abandoned when snow swept across the UK.

The painting is now expected to be in place before the exhibition opens to the public on Saturday.

At Tuesday's press preview, curator MaryAnne Stevens admitted the arrival dates of loaned works weren't usually "that tight".

In the space where the painting should have been, a Royal Academy sign read: "Due to adverse weather conditions, the arrival of this painting has been delayed."

Manet: Portraying Life is the first major exhibition in Britain to showcase the portraiture of the French artist.

Image caption The exhibition includes The Railway from 1873

More than 50 paintings spanning Edouard Manet's career have been collected from around the world, from both public collections and private owners.

They include famous paintings such as Music in the Tuileries Gardens (1862) and The Railway (1873).

There are also portraits of Manet's most frequent sitter, his wife Suzanne Leenhoff, and luminaries of the period including Antonin Proust and Emile Zola.

In response to demand for advance tickets, the Royal Academy has announced late-night viewings, until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Two Manet paintings had been due to leave on separate flights from Sao Paulo last week having cleared Brazil's customs controls.

"Just as we had the go-ahead for the paintings to come, the snow came down," said Ms Stevens.

The Artist: Portrait of Marcellin Desboutin (1875) arrived on Monday and had been allowed to "acclimatize for 24 hours" before being hung.

Meanwhile, The Amazon - a portrait of Marie Lefebure riding a horse - was said to be "in the air" on its way to London to be installed on Thursday.

"We don' t normally have it that tight," said Ms Stevens. "We didn't reckon for the snow. If the snow hadn't been against us we would have been fine."

Manet: Portraying Life, a collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, sponsored by BNY Mellon, runs from 26 January to 14 April.

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