VERONESE: MAGNIFICENCE IN RENAISSANCE VENICE, The National Gallery, London until 15th June 2014
This very special exhibition brings fifty paintings from around the world together to form what is the most important body of Veronese’s work ever to be seen in this country.
All types of his artistic output are well represented – portraits, altarpieces, allegorical decorations and mythological works – and they clearly show why he was so eagerly sought after by the Patrician classes of Venice and the Veneto. Indeed it would be invidious of me to single out particular works as this is an exhibition that needs to be seen as a whole.
Known as Veronese (1528–1588), he was born Paolo Caliari in Verona where his father was a stonecutter. In 1541 he entered the workshop of Antonio Badile as an apprentice (he later married Badile’s daughter) and then went on to complete commissions for secular and religious patrons in the city.
Veronese moved to Venice in the early 1550s where his great reputation as an artist became firmly established. His works with their combination of figures and architecture superbly represent to the modern viewer the grandeur and power of the Venetian Republic of that time.
As the National Gallery’s director, Dr Nicholas Penny aptly sums up: “From the deftly captured shimmer of a pearl, to the sweep and splendour of his architectural settings, Veronese’s mastery of colour, space and light, and his feeling for beauty, for opulence and grace, have captured the imagination of countless artists and art lovers ever since.”
It would be wrong of me not to mention the very enjoyable exhibition entitled Catherine Goodman – Drawing from Veronese, (until 6 June 2014) at the same time. It is being held at P. & D. Colnaghi and Co. Ltd, 15 Old Bond Street, London, W1 and is a joint exhibition with Marlborough Fine Art.