Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: Giovanni da Rimini at the National Gallery – 14th June to 8th October 2017

Exhibition Review: Giovanni da Rimini at the National Gallery – 14th June to 8th October 2017

The National Gallery is world-famous for its collections and exhibitions; however the Gallery often showcases individual paintings if they are considered of particular historical interest.

From the 14th June 2017, visitors to the National Gallery will have a unique opportunity to admire Giovanni da Rimini’s late Medieval painting, Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints.

The work was acquired by the National Gallery in 2015 with the assistance of a donation by the New York collector and philanthropist Ronald S. Lauder. The panel will reside with Mr Lauder during his lifetime but will be on display occasionally at the National Gallery.

This small exhibition explores the little known group of Rimini painters who began to produce paintings in which the subject matter is shown in much more realistic manner. Many of the painters were based in the town of Rimini which in the late Middle Ages was a prosperous port city, with good trade relations and cultural ties with the Byzantine Empire.

The exhibition brings together, for the first time in the UK, the three easel paintings attributed to Giovanni da Rimini: Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints with the very closely related Scenes from the Life of Christ from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome; and The Virgin and Child with Five Saints from the Pinacoteca Comunale, Faenza, Italy.

The exhibition includes other works by the leading artists of early 14th-century Rimini: Neri da Rimini; Francesco da Rimini/Master of Verucchio; Giovanni Baronzio; as well as the great Florentine painter and architect, Giotto, who worked in Rimini for a brief period.

The exhibition consists of 10 objects in total: seven panel paintings, including loans from the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin and the Courtauld Gallery, London; two ivory panels from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum; and one fragment from an illuminated leaf from a private collection.

Although little is known about Giovanni da Rimini, he was one of the most talented of a small group of painters active in the 14th century Rimini who were influenced by Giotto, one of the greatest artists of the late Medieval period to create a more naturalistic style in  Christian devotion painting. However there are still elements of Byzantine art in the paintings which suggest that the painters still wanted to appeal to both the East and the West.

This fascinating free exhibition provides some rare insights into the little known school of Rimini painters in the 14th century. These artists were part of a movement to introduce realism and more narrative into the art and provided inspiration for later Italian artists who took this approach to remarkable levels.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

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