Beyond the water-wall facade you’ll find an expansive collection set over three levels, covering international art that runs from the ancient to the contemporary. Key works include a Rembrandt, a Tiepolo and a Bonnard. You might also bump into a Monet, a Modigliani, or a Bacon. It’s also home to Picasso’s Weeping Woman , which was the victim of an art heist in 1986. Free 45-minute tours occur hourly from 11am to 2pm, which alternate to different parts of the collection.
The gallery also has an excellent decorative arts collection, and fantastic pieces in its Asia galleries from India to Japan. Its international blockbuster shows are huge, and bring with them long queues. The Australian art collection is on display at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at nearby Federation Sq.
Completed in 1967, the original NGV building itself – Roy Grounds’ ‘cranky icon’ – is one of Australia’s most originally controversial but ultimately later respected Modernist masterpieces.