28 January 2012

The Renaissance exhibition

We sampled Renaissance art when we were in Italy last year, but we pretty busy and didn't absorb much of it. Hence we decided that we had to make up for this, and so we visited the current exhibition of Renaissance works at the National Gallery in Canberra. As is well known, this is a collection from the Accademia Carrara at Bergomo, and also includes at least one of the NGA's own works.
Raphael: Saint Sebastian
The display is arranged in a clearly defined sequence, ranging from the Gothic to Renaissance transition through to the High Renaissance and the Late Renaissance. Thus, even relatively uneducated viewers (I'm in this category) can readily discern the evolution in style, accompanied by the change of media from tempera to oils and from wooden panels to canvas, culminating in the amazing colours that really shine out in the last couple of rooms.  Rightly or wrongly, these rooms were the highlight for me.
Of course, the majority of the works have religious themes (including lots of Madonnas!), but there are quite a number of non-religious portraits as well. I was interested that there was even a section devoted to altarpieces, with a number of panels on display – but no complete altarpieces. I now regret not having looked at the Bode's amazing collection of these in more detail (I mentioned this collection a little while back).

No comments:

Post a Comment