Unfortunately for me, I’ll be arriving in Perugia just a few days after the closing of an exhibition of works by Mannerist painter Federico Barocci. But I can still see a recently restored masterpiece by the Urbino native when it’s returned to its home in the city’s Duomo.
According to ANSA, the Italian news agency, Barocci’s “The Deposition” is the focal point of the exhibition of about 20 “monumental altarpieces” including several by the 16th century artist, as well as other artists of the same era. Many of Barocci’s works can usually be found in Rome, in the Vatican’s art gallery or in the Borghese Gallery; or in the Uffizi in Florence.
Barocci started work on The Deposition in the late 1560s and spent several years on the altarpiece which was created for Perugia’s Duomo. It has been away from there for some time as it underwent a lengthy renovation operation, “which focused primarily on restoring the brilliance of Barocci's original colours,” according to ANSA.
Following the restoration, it went on public display last year for a short period in Siena as part of an exhibition devoted to Barocci.
Although Barocci spent most of his life working in his native Urbino, he completed a number of important commissions for Perugia and had a significant influence on artists working in the area, reports ANSA.
All the Barocci paintings on display in the exhibition were created specifically for Perugia, while the other paintings are by Umbrian artists who incorporated his innovative use of colour, space and dramatic lighting into their own works. The exhibition is divided into thematic sections, starting with a selection of works on the same subject as Barocci's Deposition, Christ's descent from the cross.
The next part of the Perugian exhibition looks at various artistic interpretations of the Annunciation, including a majestic Barocci altarpiece on loan from the Santa Maria degli Angeli church in Perugia (above). The exhibition is on show at the Palazzo Baldeschi al Corso until June 6, after which The Deposition will return to its permanent home in the city's cathedral.