Anton Maria Maragliano,
Anton Maria Maragliano (1664–1739), "The Baptism of Christ," 1723–25, gilt and polychromed wood, 86 5/8 x 82 11/16 x 53 1/8 in. (without base), Parrocchia di San Giovanni Battista, Pieve di Teco, photo: Luigino Visconti

A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750
National Gallery
Washington, D.C.
Through January 9, 2022

The National Gallery of Art is back to mounting massive loan exhibitions, and its first one post-pandemic is “A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750.”

It features 130 paintings, sculptures, decorative artworks, drawings, and prints borrowed from 56 lenders around the world, including 13 private collections and five churches in Italy.

In the 16th century the Italian port of Genoa transformed itself into the banking center of Europe. Aided by its unique strategic location, it developed far-reaching commercial networks and became a Mediterranean naval power. Its artists synthesized local and foreign impulses, absorbing and adapting the revolutionary approach introduced by followers of Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens.

Genoa’s leading families accumulated huge wealth and competed to invest in civic buildings, churches, and their own residences, which were filled with the fresco decoration and collections for which the city is still famous. Their aesthetic was an exuberant expression of the baroque style, and this is its first comprehensive examination in the U.S.

The project has been organized with Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale, where it will appear March 4 through June 19, 2022. Those who cannot visit should consider ordering its impressive 370-page catalogue.

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