Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini present a refined exhibition that explores the concept of Baroque, the unitary system of the arts born in Rome at the beginning of the 17th century.
The exhibition, which inaugurates the new eight rooms on the ground floor of the Galleries, collects the distinctive features of Baroque art: theatricality, wonder, grandiloquence, the flamboyant and pathetic reworking of the classical myths and the ancient works of art. Pietro da Cortona condensed them all in his spectacular Triumph of Divine Providence on the Gallery vault.
The leitmotif is the concept of Time, investigated in all its forms and declinations - love, seasons, beauty, action.
Forty masterpieces by great Italian and foreign artists - from Italian and international museums - narrate the theme of the Time, marked by sumptuous and elegant baroque watches.
The works on display - by Pietro da Cortona, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Valentin de Boulogne, Nicolas Poussin, Anton Van Dyck, Domenichino, Andrea Sacchi and Guido Reni, to name a few - take the visitor on a luxurios and exciting journey through allegory and science, the ability of painting to grasp the duration of action, and the ambition of art to defeat the transience of life.
Curated by Francesca Cappelletti and Flaminia Gennari Santori, the exhibition is divided into five sections: The myth of Time; Time and Love; Time between calculation and allegory; Tempo Vanitas; Stopping Time, capturing action.
In the first three sections, Time is depicted as a mythical figure - the winged and stern old man or the metaphors of ancient poetry. Paintings, frescoes, mirrors, and clocks featuring this type of decoration marked the time of the palace and family life, recalling the most significant moments. The fourth section is dedicated to Vanitas - the passage of time where still life is the protagonist. Skulls, hourglasses, clocks, bruised fruits, and withered flowers remind men of the transience of beauty and fragility of human life. The last section focuses on the theatricality and wonder of the several works by the artists working in Rome during the 17th century. They represented their subjects at the climax of the action, highlighting their pathos.
Cover image: Guido Reni, Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons) 1617-1620, oil on canvas 175 x 230 cm, Napoli, Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
I maestri dell’arte - Itinerari romani sulle tracce dei grandi artisti
Theatrical effects, optical games and perspective illusions that make art wonderful
From 15 May to 3 October 2021
Museums and cultural sites are subject at the COVID containment measures
For the opening times and guidelines please check the official website