fri 24/05/2019

Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500, National Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500, National Gallery

Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500, National Gallery

A narrative of the divine made flesh, from the Annuciation to the crucifixion

Andrea Mantegna’s 'Virgin and Child with the Magdalen and Saint John the Baptist'

Down the stairs the visitor enters a sequence of galleries gleaming with gold, seemingly illuminated by softly filtered evening light and flickering candles: here be a treasure house of stories in paint: saints, sinners and the narrative of the divine made flesh, from the Annunciation to the crucifixion.  Some 40 Italian altarpieces, from the 13th through to the 15th centuries – some whole but most just fragments – are theatrically displayed to suggest the atmosphere of late medieval and early Renaissance Italian churches, monasteries and convents.

The realism with which all too human emotions are depicted remains extraordinarily telling

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters