In the 17th century, Genoa completed its transformation from a faded maritime power of old, feuding families into the banking center of Europe. Accumulating enormous wealth, the leading Genoese turned to cultural investment. Genoese artists and their patrons created an art of extraordinary material sumptuousness, visual splendor, and exuberant feeling—a singularly rich and beautiful expression of baroque style.
The catalog and exhibition at the National Gallery of Art—the first on Genoese baroque art in the United States—include works in painting, sculpture, decorative arts, drawings, and prints. A Superb Baroque features works by the city’s few well-known painters such as Bernardo Strozzi, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, and Alessandro Magnasco. Key works by artists drawn to Genoa’s flourishing environment—Rubens, Giulio Cesare Procaccini, Orazio Gentileschi, Van Dyck, and Francesco Solimena—are also presented. Approximately 15 sculptures provide a counterpoint to the paintings, including several full-size statues by the principal figures—Pierre Puget, Filippo Parodi, Anton Maria Maragliano—as well as terracotta sketches and smaller-scale repetitions of monumental groups. The decorative arts are represented by 15 of the finest examples, from spectacular ceremonial silver objects to lavish gilt furniture and furnishings. Some 70 choice drawings and prints, most by the same artists as the paintings and objects, are included.
336 pages | 300 illustrations | 9.25 × 12.5 inches
Coming April 2020