Genoa at the Hermitage
The exhibition opened in Rooms 28-32 of the Winter Palace represents the art of Genoa at its acme. It features 25 paintings from Genoese collections and 15 canvases from the Hermitage alongside 29 drawings from the Hermitage and the Cabinet of Drawings and Engravings of Palazzo Rosso.
This epoch was inaugurated by an outstanding personality, Admiral Andrea
Doria. After his advent to Genoa in 1528 a large-scale construction of
palaces, churches and public buildings and planning of streets and palaces
commenced. To decorate Doria's palaces, the famous artist Perino del Vaga,
disciple of Rafael, was invited from Rome. Thereupon Genoese aristocracy
began to erect splendid edifices decorated with marbles and frescoes along
Genoa attracted many masters from various areas of Italy and Flanders. It was visited by Peter Paul Rubens and Antony van Dyck. An entire Flemish colony arose in Genoa around the studio of brothers Lucas and Cornelis de Wael. The art of Andrea Ansaldo combined Baroque compositions in the style of Rubens with Venetian colors.
In the first half of the 17th century Genoa occupied a place of honor
in the art of Italy giving the world many talented artists including Bernardo
Strozzi. The art of Rubens, Caravaggio and Tuscan and Lombard masters
was laid into the foundation of the individual style of this artist. Still-life
in Genoese art was represented by Gioacchino Assereto whose creations
are characterized by dramatic light effects.
Many representatives of the Genoese school worked far from their native city, like Giovanni Langetti in Rome and Venice or Giovanni Agostino Cassana in Venice and Florence. The name of the mysterious Peirano Genovese shows that he was born in Genoa but left this city. Two of the four known flower compositions of this master are preserved at the Hermitage.
Baroque conquered Genoa since the 1640s. Its characteristic features
are inherent in the complicated, dramatic and tense compositions of Valerio
The brilliant epoch in the art of Genoa is closed by Alessandro Magnasco. Original in everything, from brushstrokes to themes, he worked a lot in Milan and Florence returning in his later years to Genoa where he created some of his best works.
All Genoese painters were also outstanding graphic artists. Their original styles are represented by the drawings showed in the exhibition. Sketches of compositions or their fragments and studies of figures and objects present a variety of techniques and methods.