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Guercino, Giovanni da Rimini and Murillo

Over the 12 days of Christmas, Apollo contributors and guests select their highlights of 2017. View the series here.

27 December 2016

In-focus, jewel-like exhibitions are always the ones I most look forward to. In the spring of 2017 (4 March–4 June) the city of Piacenza will dedicate an exhibition to the great Baroque painter Guercino’s work in the city, especially the frescoes he created, between 1626–27, in the dome of the cathedral. Works by the artist will be on display at the Palazzo Farnese and purpose-built scaffolding will allow visitors to study the frescoes in the dome close-up. It is always a unique opportunity to be able to examine frescoes in that way.

Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints, (c. 1300-05), Giovanni da Rimini.

Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints (c. 1300-05), Giovanni da Rimini. Courtesy of the National Gallery

Two dossier exhibitions next year will be dedicated to single works of art and I am very much looking forward to both. ‘Giovanni da Rimini. An early 14th-century masterpiece reunited’ at the National Gallery, London (14 June–8 October) will focus on the school of Rimini and on a great painter that deserves to be better known. ‘Rinascimento eccentrico: la Madonna di Tarquinia e gli esordi di Filippo Lippi’ at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini in Rome (24 October 2017–22 January 2018) will instead reconstruct the context around a fascinating painting and concentrate on its significant patron, Cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi.

Self-Portrait (c. 1650–55), Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

Self-Portrait (c. 1650–55), Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

The end of 2017 will mark the 400th birthday of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, who was born in Seville in the last days of December 1617. To mark this anniversary, the Frick Collection will present ‘Murillo: The Self-Portraits’ from 1 November 2017 to 4 February 2018, exploring the visual world around the two extraordinary images by the artist that record his own features in complex trompe l’oeil settings.

Xavier F. Salomon is Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, The Frick Collection, New York.
Keep up with Apollo’s 12 Days selection of art highlights here.

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