National Galleries of Ancient Art, from Primitives to Filippo Lippi: Palazzo Barberini’s New Layout

National Galleries of Ancient Art, from Primitives to Filippo Lippi: Palazzo Barberini’s New Layout

From Friday, April 29, 2022 that National Galleries of Ancient Art reopen the doors to the spaces dedicated to Primitivesto ground floor of Palazzo Barberinifrom No. 1 to No. 11, completely renovated and refurbished.
With this intervention by Flaminia Gennari Santori with Maurizia Cicconi and Michele Di Monte, the renovation project of the permanent collection of Palazzo Barberini ends, begun in 2019 with rooms dedicated to the eighteenth century in the South Wing and those dedicated to the seventeenth century in the North Wing and continued in October 2021 with the new rooms from the sixteenth century and the completion of it new layout of the noble floor of the building.
The renovated rooms on the ground floor house the works between the Middle Ages and the beginning of the 16th century, thus respecting the general, chronological and geographical distribution of the museum’s collection.
The project of rearranging the collection and reorganization of the building’s spaces and paths has been at the center of the work in these years, and from this core all innovative work in the National Galleries has been unraveled. The result is a great satisfaction for all of us“, declares Flaminia Gennari Santori, emphasizing:”we invented a museum that was not there, a place where our audiences reflect and keep coming back because they know they will always find new ideas“.
The 50 works on the ground floor are arranged in an order that intertwines and presents different levels of reading to the public: through a series of “spaces” dedicated to thematic moments and monographic insights, links and references between the morphological works are thematically highlighted. , typological, semantic, iconographic and contextual. The hall panels and the didactic equipment illustrate the decorations and the architectural elements of what was originally Prince Taddeo Barberini’s apartment, and give the visitor a valid help with the exhibition’s itinerary.
Access is via the new Orienteering Room (No. 1), also known as the Aber Room with its ceiling decoration frescoes around 1630 by Agostino Tassi and Simone Lagi. In it, visitors will find a timeline that will run along the walls and highlight the most important events in the history of the Palazzo Barberinis and the museum: a kind of “red thread” that ends graphically with an innovative multimedia table. The table was designed to enhance the use of the museum by allowing visitors to explore different themes of the palace (from the main characters of the Barberini family to the artists who worked there) and to the collection (from the most important works to its formation) . It can be accessed at the same time by 5 people, who can choose different paths and consult different content, in Italian and English.
The exhibition is completed by the painting by Antonio Gerardi, Maffeo Barberini presides over the recycling work of Lake Trasimeno, 1665, one of the comics in the series of tapestries about the life of Pope Urban VIII, the most important produced by the Barberini wallpaper, probably intended for the Salone by Pietro da Cortona.
In the premises dedicated to the oldest painting (n.2-3) to the right of the Orientation Room, the works will date between the end of 11. and the first half of the 14th century be exhibited, erected. in such a way as to highlight the different functional destination, the use in context of origin and the material and formal as well as symbolic peculiarities that these entailed.
Room n. 2 is dedicated to the panel of Madonna Advocata, dating back to the end of the 12th century – the oldest work preserved in the museum – from Santa Maria in Campo Marzio and to the characteristic type of the Italian painted cross, with four examples dating back to around 1200 and 1260, including the cross owned by Jacorossi, attributed to the circle of Alberto Sotio (active in Spoleto in the 12th century) restored on the occasion of the new layout. These are structurally similar works, but precisely for this reason they allow a better understanding of various iconographic solutions, from the hieratic image of Christus Triumphans to the more humanly sympathetic of Christus Patiens.
In room n. 3, the paintings, mainly gold backgrounds from the Tuscan area between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, are grouped in a core reminiscent of their devoted function, the relationship to the Byzantine prototypes and persistent formal configurations with varying iconographic declensions, clearly especially in the very homogeneous series of Madonna with child from the Sienese school, from Segna di Bonaventura (Siena, documented from 1298 to 1331) to the Master of the Palazzo Venezia (active from 1320 to 1370). In the room there are also two carved ivory chests from the Embriachi workshop (active in Venice, 14th century) that come from the deposits of MAI (Industrial Art Museum)
The next room (n. 4) instead marks the transition from the Late Gothic phase to the emergence of new developments in the Nordic and Flemish areas. On the one hand, the paintings’ sophisticated elegance and hyper-decorative bends by the Venetian Niccolò di Pietro (active in Venice, 14th century) and Michele Giambono (Venice, ca. 1420 – 1462 ca.) and on the other hand the essays of Provencal and Flemish painting from the fifteenth century, where the narrative needs, the calligraphic taste and the expressive research are accompanied by a new sense of the representation of space and light. In particular, the recently attributed Madonna of Sorrows by Jean Changenet (active in Provence between 1486 and 1493) and the panel with Ex-voto by Josse Lieferinxe (active in Provence from 1493 to 1503/08) clearly show this intertwining of motifs. The small painting by Lieferinxe, with its clear perspective construction, anticipates and introduces the following spaces dedicated to the painting of early humanism, emphasizing the reciprocal and fruitful relations between the Flemish environment and the Italian space.
The path on the east side of the floor ends in the Sala delle Colonne (room 5), so-called due to the presence of the two large granite pillars that were placed when the room was renovated by order of Cardinal Francesco Barberini and again decorated by the Maltese painter Michelangelo Marulli.
Rooms 6-10 to the left of the orientation room are intended for Italian painting between the 15th and 16th centuries. We begin with the two important tables of Filippo Lippi (Florence 1406 – Spoleto 1469), the Madonna of Tarquinia and the so-called Hertz Annunciation, which now mark that Tuscan painters in the fifteenth century have taken over these basic linguistic elements in a new way : the perspective space, the restoration of the old, naturalism. Traits further highlighted here in comparison with works by other masters, still attached to forms and stylistic features used to describe “delayed”, as in the case of the Madonna and Child of the Florentine Neri di Bicci (Florence, 1419) – 1492) , who dies at the symbolic dawn of a new era, in 1492.
In Room 6, the Triptych (Ascension, Universal Judgment, Pentecost) by Beato Angelico (Vicchio 1395 – Rome 1455) will be exhibited until the end of October, the panel dated 1447-1448 is usually kept in the Corsini Gallery.
Room 7 exhibits early renaissance between Italian painting through the substantial core of works by Antoniazzo Romano (Rome, active from 1461 to 1508), here in comparison with Lorenzo da Viterbo (Viterbo, 1473 cs. – 1472) and two paintings by Perugino (Città della Pieve, ca. 1450 – Fontignano, 1523). To emphasize the passage to the next room, the unique canvas of San Sebastiano and Santa Caterina, perhaps an organ door, by an eccentric and linguistically “composite” painter, identified in Francesco Pagano (15th century) or in the Sicilian Riccardo Quartararo (Sciacca, 1443 – Palermo, 1506 ca.), expression of the Iberian-Flemish idiom that took place in Aragonese Naples, however enriched by a Roman experience, perhaps close to Antoniazzo himself.
In room 8 alone is exhibited The vision of Blessed Amedeo Menez de Sylva by Pedro Fernandez (Murcia, Spain, active between the end of the 15th and the first quarter of the 16th century), which symbolically closes the way to the ground floor and announces the development of the rooms on the main floor with the precise references from this monumental table to the masters of the so-called “High Renaissance”, from Leonardo to Bramante to Raphael.
Finally, spaces 10 and 11 illustrate in parallel, conceptually and literally, the results of artistic production between the 15th and 16th centuries on the Adriatic side of Italian painting, from Marches to Venice, with works by Pietro Alemanno (born in Göttweig, Austria; active in Marche between the eighties and nineties of the fifteenth century), Lorenzo d’Alessandro (San Severino Marche ca. 1445 – 1501), Niccolò Alunno (Foligno, active from 1450 to 1502), Marco Palmezzano (Forlì, 1459 – 1539) and some followers by Giovanni Bellini.
Room 9 will be dedicated to focus exhibitions, dedicated to in-depth analysis of individual works, small groups of works or specific themes.
Rome, April 2022

Maria Bonmassar: +39 06 4825370 | +39 335 490311 |

EVENT: From primitives to Filippo Lippi: Palazzo Barberini’s new layout
CURATORS: Flaminia Gennari Santori with Maurizia Cicconi and Michele Di Monte
PLACE: Rome, Palazzo Barberini, via delle Quattro Fontane, 13
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: from 29 April 2022
HOURS: Tuesday – Sunday, 10.00 – 18.00. Last access at 17.00.
BARBERINI CORSINI TICKET: Full € 12 – Reduced € 2 (children aged 18 to 25). The ticket is valid for 20 days from the time of stamping for a single access to each of the museum’s sites: Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Corsini.
From April 15 to September 25, 2022, to coincide with the Disney show. The art of telling timeless stories, produced by Sole24 ore Cultura and host of the Palazzo Barberini exhibition area, there is a reduced rate of 6 euros for National Galleries, Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Corsini. To take advantage of the discount, the visitor must show the ticket to the Disney show at the ticket offices at the two locations. The campaign only entitles you to one access per venue.
Free: children under 18, school groups and accompanying teachers from the EU (by reservation), students and teachers in architecture, literature (archaeological or historical-artistic address), preservation of cultural heritage and educational science, art academies, employees of the Ministry of Culture, ICOM members, tour guides and interpreters on duty, journalists with booking cards, disabled people with companions, school teachers, permanent or temporary contracts, on presentation of an appropriate certificate according to the model prepared by Miur.

Access is regulated in accordance with the infection prevention rules laid down in the law. To access it is necessary to use the mask.
Reservations required on weekends and holidays at the link:
Or by contacting the number: 06-32810
GROUP VISITS: groups of up to 15 people, guide included, with reservation required on 06-32810 both on weekdays and on public holidays and weekends. Use of radio systems mandatory.
To ensure the easiest use for all, the maximum stay for groups at the museum is 2 hours.

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