Back in February, the National Gallery launched a major new exhibition on the Italian Renaissance painter Federico Barocci – showing many of his paintings and altarpieces in the UK for the first time.
Described by the Sunday Times as "an inspired show", Barocci: Brilliance and Grace has proven essential viewing for art lovers. Now in its final week, would-be attendees have just a few more days to enjoy these immortal masterpieces in the exquisite setting of the National Gallery.
Barocci lived in the late 16th century on the cusp of the Baroque period; his dynamic compositions were hugely influential to later painters, but his warmth and sensitivity are all his own. The gallery has managed to assemble the majority of Barocci's most significant altarpieces thanks to the assistance of the Soprintendenze delle Marche. Many of these have never before been seen outside of Italy.
These include Last Supper, shipped from Urbino Cathedral, and Entombment, gracefully loaned to the gallery by the town of Senigallia. The altarpieces are accompanied by a spectacular assembly of preparatory drawings and paintings that show how Barocci conceived and accomplished his astonishing works.
"For exquisite and original colour harmonies, for tenderness of sentiment, for compelling and vertiginous compositions, Barocci has never been surpassed," says Dr Nicholas Penny, director of the National Gallery.
Tickets to Barocci: Brilliance and Grace start at £12 for adults. Students and under-18s are eligible for a discounted rate of £6, and other concessions pay an £11 admission charge. The exhibition runs from 10am to 6pm every day except Friday, when it stays open until 9pm. This Sunday (May 19th) is the final day the show will be open to the public.
The National Gallery is a major tourist attraction and extremely easy to find, being located on Trafalgar Square. Art enthusiasts staying in central London hotels this week, then, should find it a stone's throw from their doors.