Exhibition preview: Bellini, Botticelli, Titian...500 years of Italian Art, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until June 23 2013
What might have been Scotland’s best kept art secret is now well and truly out of the bag. Glasgow’s civic collection of Italian art has emerged as one of the best of its kind anywhere in the UK.
© Glasgow City Council (Glasgow Museums)
The maestros in the title need no introduction and Francesco Guardi and Salvator Rosa also feature in this revelatory show in Warwickshire, which is set to raise more eyebrows when it tours the US.
Bellini, Botticelli, Titian . . . 500 Years of Italian art has been more than 10 years in the making. It took three years alone for conservation teams at Glasgow Museums to prepare works for display. Some have been hidden for more than 100 years.
But what’s another decade in a collection that spans five centuries? Art historian Peter Humfrey conceived the show in 2001.
“The exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Glasgow Museums' collection of Italian paintings," he said.
"Although still too little known, it is among the most impressive of any in the UK, both for its quality and for its chronological range."
Regular visitors to Compton Verney will also get the chance to see a wider context for the museum’s permanent collection of Neopolitan art. That’s thanks to an extensive rehang and reinterpretation of works by Luce Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Pierre-Jacques Volaire and Gaspare Vanvitelli.
- Open 11am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday except Bank Holidays). Admission £2.25-£13 (free for under-5s, family ticket £23.60-£26). Follow the gallery on Twitter @ComptonVerney.