Room 32


At the turn of the 17th century two artists in Rome created new styles that were to affect the future of painting across Europe. Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio based their art on a return to the study of nature, rejecting the elegant artificiality of their Mannerist predecessors. Both sought a truer expression of the 'affetti', the passions of the soul, in bold, animated compositions with figures of unprecedented presence and vitality.

Annibale believed that the idealisation of nature was essential to making art and created a new classical style. Caravaggio, meanwhile, introduced a potent naturalism to religious and mythological painting, making the subject matter seem contemporary. Their legacies can be seen in the dynamic compositions, dramatic lighting, vivid use of colour and intense expression of emotion, characteristic of the Baroque style. Later in this period, the virtuoso use of brushwork became an expressive vehicle in its own right.


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
Ludovico Carracci: 'Susannah and the Elders'
Susannah and the Elders
Ludovico Carracci
Pietro da Cortona: 'Saint Cecilia'
Saint Cecilia
Pietro da Cortona
Attributed to Antonio De Bellis: 'The Finding of Moses'
The Finding of Moses
Antonio De Bellis
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
Italian, Emilian: 'A Mathematician (?)'
A Mathematician (?)
Italian, Emilian
Johann Carl Loth: 'Mercury piping to Argus'
Mercury piping to Argus
Johann Carl Loth
Studio of Guido Reni, The Toilet of Venus
The Toilet of Venus
Guido Reni and Studio
Salvator Rosa: 'Self Portrait'
Salvator Rosa
Portrait of a Lady
Francesco Solimena
Valentin de Boulogne: 'The Four Ages of Man'
The Four Ages of Man
Valentin de Boulogne
Jakob Ferdinand Voet: 'Cardinal Carlo Cerri'
Cardinal Carlo Cerri
Jakob Ferdinand Voet