Central Hall

Northern Italy 1500-1580

Painting in the prosperous North Italian cities of Brescia and Bergamo combined a characteristically Lombard brand of naturalism with an awareness of Venetian art and its interest in light and colour. The fluid handling of paint and intensity of colour of Girolamo Romanino’s altarpiece for the church of San Alessandro in Brescia reflect his admiration for contemporary Venetian painting.

Moretto, who was based in Brescia, formulated a style of religious painting which elicited devotional engagement through its fidelity to life. The same qualities are evident in his portraiture which is further distinguished by his pioneering use of the full-length format. His pupil Giovanni Battista Moroni, who also worked in Bergamo, followed his example.

In this room you will also be able to see paintings from the Ferrarese and Bolognese Schools, notably The Virgin and Child with Saints by Lorenzo Costa and Gianfrancesco Maineri which was for the high altar of the Oratory of the Conception, Ferrara and The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Other Saints by Francesco Francia.