May 23, 2024

Danaë and the Shower of GoldNational Gallery of Art Celebrates Extravagant Baroque Style of 17th- and Early 18th-Century Genoa on View May 3 Through August 16, 2020


Washington, DC—The visual arts in Genoa at the beginning of the 17th century exhibited extraordinary diversity and richness. The city’s enormous wealth enabled its artists and their patrons to create an exuberant expression of the baroque style through works of material and visual splendor. A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750 is the first comprehensive exhibition of the period in nearly 30 years and the first of this scale in the United States. Organized in partnership with the Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, it features some 130 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings, and prints from 56 lenders, including 13 private collections and five churches in Genoa and Liguria. Accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, this landmark exhibition will be on view from May 3 through August 16, 2020, in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art.

One of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and a formidable maritime power, Genoa became a functioning republic in the early 16th century and steadily transformed itself into the banking center of Europe. Its leading families accumulated extraordinary wealth and in their competition for social prestige and political position invested it in visual culture: civil construction, ecclesiastical projects, and, above all, their own residences, which were then filled with the fresco decoration and collections for which the city is still famed. Aided by its unique strategic position in relation to numerous Italian centers and the dominions of the king of Spain (Milan, Naples, Sicily, and Flanders), Genoa developed far-reaching commercial and financial networks, and a tradition of exchange of all kinds. Its culture took on an incomparably varied and complex expression.

“Genoese artists and their patrons created an art that was a singularly rich and beautiful expression of baroque style,” said Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art. “We are grateful to our partner organization, the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, lending institutions, Genoa’s city museums, and private collections, as well as to the churches in Genoa and Liguria who generously lent their priceless treasures for this remarkable exhibition.”

(Source:  National Gallery of Art)

Danaë and the Shower of Gold; Orazio Gentileschi (Italian, 1563 – 1639); Italy; 1621 – 1623; Oil on canvas; 161.5 × 227.1 cm (63 9/16 × 89 7/16 in.); 2016.6