True colours30 March 2017 | by Christopher Lamb
Venezia Scarlatta: Lotto, Savoldo and Cariani Palazzo Barberini, (National Gallery of Ancient Art), Rome
The treasures of Rome, I’ve discovered while living here, are often best enjoyed if you simply allow them to reveal themselves to you, rather than approaching them with a sightseer’s bucket list. So often in this city I’ve gone in search of a particular piece of art only to find myself dazzled by something else; I open one door, only to find another three waiting.
A recent moment of Roman self-revelation occurred when I went to seek out an exhibition of paintings by the High Renaissance artist Lorenzo Lotto (c.1480-1556/57), a painter of the Venetian school whose two versions of the mystical marriage of St Catherine of Alexandria have been brought together for the first time (to 11 June).
My trail to Lotto brought me to Rome’s gallery of ancient art housed in the stunningly beautiful Palazzo Barberini, a baroque mecca just off the piazza of the same name. The Barberini family were a Renaissance powerhouse producing cardinals, art patrons and a Pope, Urban VIII.
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