This volume catalogues paintings from Venice made between 1540 and 1600, and includes some of the greatest pictures in the National Gallery, London: Titian's Vendramin Family venerating a Relic of the True Cross and his Death of Actaeon; Veronese's Family of Darius and his four Allegories, and Tintoretto's Origin of the Milky Way. There are also new discoveries, such as the small painting by Veronese of The Rape of Europa, long considered to be a copy, whose quality is revealed by recent cleaning. The great Bassano family, who worked outside Venice but often in the service of the city and its art market, is also well represented. Veronese may be the artist whose entire range is best displayed, with paintings of all sizes and types from his youth to maturity. But the influence of Titian pervades the entire period covered in this catalogue, and for that reason his works after 1540 are included here; the paintings produced earlier in his life will appear in another volume.The catalogue also serves as an introduction to all the major types of painting produced in the city in this period: the altarpiece, the confraternity chapel decoration, the ceiling painting, paintings for the portego (the long central hall of a palace), the portrait, and even furniture painting.
Many of these pictures have passed through some of the greatest collections in Europe - most notably those of Emperor Rudolph II, in Prague, of Queen Christina of Sweden and of the Duc d'Orleans. The author's account of how the works were acquired makes this catalogue an important contribution to the history of European taste and a fascinating chapter in the history of the National Gallery itself.
This beautifully produced catalogue of sixteenth-century paintings from the distinguished collection of the National Gallery, London encompasses artists who were active in Bergamo, Brescia and Cremona, cities characterised as much by the artistic interaction between them as by the influence of Venice. The artists include such well-known names as Lorenzo Lotto, Moretto and Moroni, along with less familiar ones such as Bartolomeo Veneto and Callisto Piazza. For each of the paintings, scholar and curator Nicholas Penny provides information about technique and materials, conservation and condition, and subject and iconography. An account of the painting's original parronage is followed by a discussion of changing tastes, interpretation, and how the picture was esteemed (or neglected) over the centuries. One third of the paintings catalogued here are portraits, and entries include fascinating sections on contemporary dress, furnishings, and accessories. An appendix provides an illuminating account of some of the great collectors and collections of the past.