Many of the small paintings in this room were made to satisfy the growing
number of enthusiastic collectors who emerged during the Baroque era.
While religious images were ostensibly intended for private devotion, they
were also created as works of art for galleries or collectors’ cabinets. Some
artists painted on copper or slate because the slick surfaces emphasised their extraordinarily refined handling of paint.
Rome was the centre of the European art world during the 17th century.
Painters from the Netherlands, Germany and France considered a period
of study in Rome as an essential part of their training. In turn, these artists
introduced new naturalistic landscape paintings to the city. Their influence
on the development of an ideal landscape style can be seen in works by
both Italian and non-Italian artists in this room.