Painters of Reality: The Legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy

Bayer, Andrea, ed., with contributions by Andrea Bayer, Mina Gregori, Martin Kemp, Linda Wolk-Simon, Enrico de Pascale, Giulio Bora, Mario Marubbi, Keith Christiansen, Laura Lanzeni, Robert S. Miller, and Andaleeb Badiee Banta (2004)

This title is out of print.

Book of the Year Award (ForeWord) in Art (2004)

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Painters of Reality: The Legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy

This major international loan exhibition features some eighty paintings and forty drawings that document the North Italian region's distinctive emphasis on observation of the natural world, beginning in the fifteenth century with Leonardo da Vinci's stay in Milan, through the eighteenth century. A central figure in the exhibition is Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio, through whom this naturalist approach came to Rome and became of key importance to Baroque art there and throughout Europe. Also featured are works by such notable exemplars of the Lombard school as Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo, Giacomo Ceruti, and the important women artists Sofonisba Anguissola and Fede Galizia. This is the first time that this great school of Italian painting has been presented in the United States in such depth.

Full recognition of the contribution of Lombard painters to the history of Italian art is relatively recent. Yet, it is arguable that North Italian painting was among the most innovative schools of Italian art and the galvanizing force behind the creation of Baroque art. Caravaggio, who was trained in Milan, and Ludovico and Annibale Carracci all viewed themselves as Lombard painters and heirs to a rich legacy. This exhibition broadens understanding of the important contributions of the many original and highly influential artists working in Northern Italy, especially in the areas of portraiture, still life, nature studies, and the Leonardesque idea of capturing in paint "the motions of the mind."