Art Gallery of Alberta

Titian (1485-1576)

Titian is considered the greatest painter of the Venetian School and was recognized as an artistic genius in his own time. It is believed that he was a student of Giovanni Bellini, and after Bellini’s death, Titian became the official painter to the Venetian Republic in 1516. He maintained his position as the leading painter in Venice until his death 60 years later. He influenced future great artists such as Poussin, Rubens and Velazquez and set patterns in many artistic genres that were followed by generations of artists.

Image Credits

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Christ and the Adulteress, ca. 1508–10. Oil on canvas. 54 13/16 x 71 1/2 in. (139.2 x 181.7 cm). Glasgow Museums; Bequeathed by Archibald McLellan, 1856 (181). ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts.

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)

Sandro Botticelli is one of the best known artists of the 15th century. He spent most of his life in Florence where, at the peak of his career, he was the most popular painter in that city. His patrons included some of the city’s finest churches and most distinguished families. However, in the early 16th century Botticelli’s style fell out of vogue and he died in obscurity. His fame was not resurrected until the late 1800’s when his work was re-discovered by the Pre-Raphaelites.

Image Credits

Sandro Botticelli (and Possibly Assistant), The Annunciation, ca. 1490–95
Oil, tempera, and gold leaf on walnut panel. 19 1/2 x 24 7/16 in. (49.5 x 61.9 cm). Glasgow Museums; Bequeathed by Archibald McLellan, 1856 (174). ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts.

Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430-1516)

Giovanni Bellini is often credited as the founder of the Venetian Renaissance—turning Venice from an artistically provincial city into an artistic centre rivalling Florence and Rome in importance. Bellini was one of the great early masters of oil painting and initiated the characteristically Venetian idea of painting in which colour and light were the primary means of expression. His influence on Venetian painting was enormous. In 1483, Bellini was appointed official painter of the Republic, and from that time, almost all the leading painters of the next generation, such as Giorgione and Titian, trained in his workshop.

Image Credits

Giovanni Bellini, Virgin and Child, ca. 1480–85. Tempera and oil on panel. 24 1/2 x 18 1/4 in. (62.3 x 46.2 cm). Glasgow Museums; Bequeathed by Mrs. John Graham-Gilbert, 1877 (575). ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums offers Albertans a rare opportunity to experience a full range of historical masterworks from Italy’s rich painting tradition. With 41 works by some of the greatest names in European art—like Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli and Titian—this exhibition examines the evolution of Italian painting, from the religious artworks of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance to neoclassical secular and genre paintings of the 19th century.

This exhibition includes paintings originating from the principal artistic centres of Italy: Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Naples and Venice and presents the works of famous artists alongside those of lesser-known masters. Most of the paintings have never been exhibited outside of Glasgow and many have been conserved specifically for this presentation. The AGA is the only Canadian stop on the exhibition’s international tour and should not be missed!

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums is organized by the American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

The exhibition tour is generously supported by the JFM Foundation and the Donald and Maria Cox Trust. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane and Christie’s.

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