Artibus et Historiae no. 9 (V)

1984, ISSN 0391-9064

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W. R. REARICK - Observation on the Venetian Cinquecento in the Light of the Royal Academy Exhibition

The exhibition The Genius of Venice held in the winter of 1983-84 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, was the largest and probably the last such show to be dedicated to the Venetian Cinquecento. Although some works were of questionable attribution and others, such as the paintings of the Brescia and Bergamo schools, seemed out of context there, the exhibition provided an impressive survey of the material, and the catalogue will remain an essential reference work. The present article is intended as a critical gloss on what might be regarded as useful additions and corrections to the catalogue, in particular for the Kingston Lacy Judgement of So/omon. Doubts arise over the practice of delegating the catalogue to an equipe of forty two scholars of variable expertise, and the final impression is that of a scatter-shot aggregation of mostly fine works without a presiding point of view.

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