Archives for renaissance

National Gallery Shows Masterpieces by Michelangelo and Sebastiano

AN UNUSUAL relationship between the Renaissance master, Michelangelo and lesser known Venetian artist, Sebastiano del Piombo is the focus of a new exhibition at The National Gallery in London. The show, which opens this spring, endeavours to gain greater recognition for Sebastiano whose talents have been largely overshadowed by his association with Michelangelo but whose work was highly regarded by 19th century collectors.

Their creative partnership, which is evidenced through paintings, sculptures and working drawings, took place during a time of great political upheaval, heated theological debate and in powerful opposition to their artistic rival, Raphael. Central to the show are Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s remarkable collection of original letters, which disclose the intriguing details of their professional and personal life and whose writing styles reveal much about the artists’ respective personalities.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersThe Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Michelangelo’s controversial sculpture, The Risen Christ, condemned by the biographer Romain Rolland to be “the coldest and dullest thing he ever did”, although much-admired by the artist’s contemporaries, is displayed for the first time in contrast with a plaster cast from his second version. The exhibition also presents a rare opportunity to view Sebastiano’s work, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as Viterbo Pietà which marks the beginning of the artists’ collaboration.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersChrist carrying the Cross by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1513-14.
Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Sebastiano, who was ten years younger than Michelangelo, was born in Venice 1485. The artists first met in Rome while Michelangelo was just completing  work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Sebastiano, a talented oil painter was an ideal partner for Michelangelo who was eager to undermine the success of his rival, Raphael.

After their initial success with Viterbo Pietà, the artists collaborated on two other major projects, the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro and the Raising of Lazarus which was created in fierce opposition to Raphael’s Transformation for the Cathedral of Norbonne in France. However, their friendship ended acrimoniously when Sebastiano tried to force Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgement for the Sistine Chapel in oils rather than his preferred medium of fresco.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersLamentation over the Dead Christ by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1512-16,
Museo Civico, Viterbo. Courtesy of Comune di Viterbo

by Miranda Charalambous

The Credit Suisse exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano opens from 15 March to 25 June 2017 at The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.

Email: information@ng-london.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Front page image: The Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

The National Gallery London Shows Paintings by Juan Bautista Maíno

A MAGNIFICENT display of paintings by the talented renaissance artist, Fray Juan Bautista Maíno will be on show at the National Gallery in London next week. The exhibition, Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth will display, “The Adoration of the Shepherds and The Adoration of the Kings from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, two paintings never to have been shown in Britain before.

These highly significant paintings display are some of the earliest examples of Spanish painting influenced by the work of Caravaggio. Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth coincides with the National Gallery’s major exhibition, Beyond Caravaggio which opens next month.

Fray Juan Bautista Maíno, painting, art Fray Juan Bautista Maíno, The Adoration of the Kings, 1612 – 1614, oil on canvas, 315 x 174.5 cm, Museo Nacional del Prado © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Maíno, the son of a silk merchant was born in the Spanish town of Pastrana, a centre for silk-weaving. The opulent silks and fine gold brocades in Maíno’s paintings display his familiarity and understanding of the textiles traded at the time. The realistic quality attributed to the artist’s work was achieved by chiaroscuro, an expert rendering of light and shade pioneered by Caravaggio. The National Gallery director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi said, “Maíno’s Adorations were painted over four hundred years ago but the brightness of the palette, the variety of people represented and the combination of naturalism and artificiality, give the paintings a surprisingly modern look. Maíno, a friend of Velázquez deserves to be much better known.”

Fray Juan Bautista Maíno, painting, artFray Juan Bautista Maíno, The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1612 – 1614, oil on canvas,
314.4 x 174.4 cm.Museo Nacional del Prado  © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

by Miranda Charalambous

Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth opens from September 28, 2016 to 29 January 2017 at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Email: information@ng-london.org.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Front page image: Fray Juan Bautista Maíno, The Adoration of the Kings, 1612 – 1614, oil on canvas, 315 x 174.5 cm, Museo Nacional del Prado © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid