Barocci: Brilliance and Grace

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Barocci: Brilliance and Grace

Date and time

27 February – 19 May 2013

Sainsbury Wing

Admission charge

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'It’s intoxicating stuff. An inspired show'
Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times 

Experience the charm and sensitivity of Barocci’s masterpieces – never before seen outside Italy.

Federico Barocci (about 1533–1612) is celebrated as one of the most talented artists of late 16th century Italy. Fascinated by the human form, he fused charm and compositional harmony with an unparalleled sensitivity to colour.

The exhibition will showcase Federico Barocci’s most spectacular altarpieces, including his famous 'Entombment' from Senigallia and 'Last Supper' from Urbino Cathedral, thanks to the cooperation of the Soprintendenze delle Marche.

The display assembles the majority of Barocci’s greatest altarpieces and paintings, together with sequences of dazzling preparatory drawings, allowing visitors to understand how each picture evolved and revealing the fertility of Barocci’s imagination, the diversity of his working methods and the sheer beauty and grace of his art.

View an accessible version of this slideshow

About the artist

'For exquisite and original colour harmonies, for tenderness of sentiment, for compelling and vertiginous compositions, Barocci has never been surpassed. He rendered the sacred both divinely beautiful and irresistibly human'
Director of the National Gallery, Dr Nicholas Penny

Barocci’s works, drawn from life and inspired by the people and animals that surrounded him, are characterised by a warmth and humanity that transform his religious subjects into themes with which all can identify.

He was an incessant and even obsessive draughtsman, preparing every composition with prolific studies in every conceivable medium.

Highly revered by his patrons during his lifetime, Barocci combined the beauty of the High Renaissance with the dynamism of what was to become known as the Baroque, a genre he was instrumental in pioneering. When he died in 1612, he was not only among the highest paid painters in Italy, but also one of the most influential. 

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Hear about the life and times of Federico Barocci

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Generously supported by The Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation, with additional support from Ugo and Chiara Pierucci and others who wish to remain anonymous.

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Image at top: Detail from Federico Barocci, 'Head Study for St. John the Evangelist'
Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1979.11.1