This is a review from my visit in Jan 2009.
The collection in the NGV is perhaps one of the best in Australia. It features works from masters ranging from Picasso, Stubbs, Rothko to Bernini, Rembrandt, Rubens, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Titian, Uccello, and Veronese. Although the works are not the most important from these artists, such a collection is definitely worth a visit.
The works are chronologically ordered and grouped by medium. On the top level are photography, conceptual art, modern paintings, furniture and even fashion. As you work you way down, you can see paintings, sculptures and decorative arts throughout history from 18-19th century down to medieval art. Don't miss the collection on the ground floor which includes Greek vases, Egytian and Americas.
A decent visit would definitely take more than half a day. There was a temporary exhibition on Gursky which I was there but apart from that entry is totally free. Photography is allowed but without flash. There is a very well stocked art bookshop as well.
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