The Portland Art Museum is hosting Great Painters in Brescia from the Renaissance to the 18th Century. Museums from the northern Italian city of Brescia in Lombardy have graciously lent 35 Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces for this exhibition shown exclusively at the Pacific Northwest museum. Displayed chronologically, the works offer a broad sweep of artistic achievement by Brescian painters in terms of portraiture, fresco production, religious images, decorative cycles, landscapes and genre pieces.
The show begins with amazingly realistic portraits by the sixteenth-century artists Alessandro Bonvicino, known as Moretto, Giovanni Battista Moroni (Moretto's pupil) and Giovanni Savoldo. Secular and mythological frescoes designed to decorate the interiors of private palaces demonstrate the pervasive influence of Renaissance Humanism. Altarpieces and small-scale devotional paintings remind the viewer that despite the crisis of the Reformation, religion still played a powerful role in the lives of Renaissance Christians. Two large-scale decorative cycles from the Seventeenth Century demonstrate the characteristic grandeur of Italian painting during the age of the Baroque. The period's inventiveness can also be seen in Antonio Rasio's four studies of the seasons. The introduction of landscape painting as an independent artistic pursuit in Brescia is explored. And the exhibition concludes with eighteenth-century paintings that illustrate the Brescian artists' continued fascination with realism in portraiture.
"Great Painters in Brescia from the Renaissance to the 18th Century" is on view from April 29 through September 17, 2006 at the Portland Art Museum, 1219 Southwest Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205 (Telephone: 503-226-2811; Website). Hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. and Sundays from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 P.M. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $9.00 for senior citizens age 55 and older and students over 18 years of age, $6.00 for children ages 5 to 18 and free for children ages 4 and under. Special exhibition fees may apply.
From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.