Skip to Content
Admission is always free Directions

January 2, 2020

Backgrounder: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750

The visual arts in Genoa at the beginning of the 17th century included a revolutionary approach to representation that was influenced by followers of Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens. The coexistence and equal importance of native and foreign ideas that had been characteristic of Genoese art since the 14th century allowed for an unprecedented range of stylistic possibilities. Though often intersecting in the city’s churches, palaces, and collections, these diverse styles remained distinctly separate.

Among the artistic choices of the early 17th century, a late mannerism that combined stylization and feeling had the most influence. Beginning in the second decade of the 17th century, artists began to synthesize local, foreign, conservative, and advanced elements into various combinations and contexts. Well-established mannerist design was fused with intense naturalistic observation and charged emotion. Elaborate perspectival schemes became populated with busy and robust narratives. Genre subjects were personalized and elevated through virtuoso handling. Collaboration with Flemish craftsmen resulted in luxury silver goods of unsurpassed intricacy and quality. In their multiple forms, parallel meanings, and equally valid claims to Genoese identity as well as patronage—and in their resemblance to the culture of a modern city––these syntheses marked the emergence and established the terms of a distinctive baroque art.

Around the beginning of the 18th century, art in Genoa underwent significant changes. The increasingly studied interpretation of high baroque that Genoese artists had experienced in Rome as well as activity by leading figures of other schools brought an exaggeration of the naturalistic and visionary aspects found in the Genoese style. An interest in portraiture, inspired by the French court, reemerged as well as an interest in landscape painting; both depicted more conventional types and ideal beauty. The previous extravagance in painting devolved to interior design and the decorative arts, and to provincial situations and traditionally lower art forms, such as wood sculpture and ephemeral decoration. By the mid-18th century, these transformations marked the end of the most consistent and distinctive period of Genoese art.

Press Contact:
Laurie Tylec, (202) 842-6355 or [email protected]

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

NEWSLETTERS:
The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Laurie Tylec
(202) 842-6355
[email protected]

Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or [email protected]

The public may call (202) 737-4215 or visit www.nga.gov for more information about the National Gallery of Art.

RSS (NEWS FEED)
http://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/press/rss/press_feed.xml