Room 31

Painting in 17th-century Italy

At the turn of the 17th century, two differing styles emerged that were to affect the future of painting across Europe. One was idealised and classicising, as demonstrated by the works of Annibale Carracci and Guido Reni, and the other, introduced by Caravaggio, was powerfully naturalistic.

Although profoundly different in their representation, both were based on a return to the study of nature. What emerged from these two different approaches are the characteristics of the Baroque style – the dynamic compositions, dramatic lighting, vivid use of colour, and intense expression of emotion evident in the paintings hanging in this room.

Paintings in this room

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Boy bitten by a Lizard
Boy bitten by a Lizard
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
The Supper at Emmaus
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Pietro da Cortona: 'Saint Cecilia'
Saint Cecilia
Pietro da Cortona
Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio): 'Portrait of Cardinal Marco Gallo'
Portrait of Cardinal Marco Gallo
Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio)
Orazio Gentileschi: 'The Finding of Moses'
The Finding of Moses
Orazio Gentileschi
Valentin de Boulogne: 'The Four Ages of Man'
The Four Ages of Man
Valentin de Boulogne