National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: The Emergence of New Genres

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image of Still Life with Fruit and Carafe image of River Landscape image of The Veil of Veronica
1 2 3
image of The Larder image of Tarquin and Lucretia image of Christ at the Sea of Galilee
4 5 6
« back to French and Italian painting of the 17th century


The late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the emergence of new types of painting in Italy. For the first time since antiquity, landscape, still life, and genre pictures all became established as independent subjects worthy of attention by the finest artists. Elements of these had always been present in other kinds of pictures: landscape backdrops were prominent, for example, in depictions of the Flight into Egypt and other religious subjects. Portrait painters incorporated as still-life elements objects that helped define a sitter’s position, prestige, or profession. Similarly, genre scenes—the word genre describes realistic depictions of ordinary people and everyday activities—sometimes appeared as background vignettes with moralizing undercurrents.



1Pensionante del Saraceni, Still Life with Fruit and Carafe, c. 1610/1620
2Annibale Carracci, River Landscape, c. 1590
3Domenico Fetti, The Veil of Veronica, c. 1618/1622
4Antonio Maria Vassallo, The Larder, probably c. 1650/1660
5Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Tarquin and Lucretia, c. 1695/1700
6Jacopo Tintoretto, Christ at the Sea of Galilee, c. 1575/1580