The Italian Almanac

Adoration of the Magi

Italian Art - January 2

Pre-Renaissance master Gentile da Fabriano is to be celebrated by his home town (Fabriano) in the east-central Marche region. The show, 'Gentile da Fabriano And The Other Renaissance', has been billed as the year's most important cultural event in the region. Organisers have managed to put together the biggest-ever collection of works, 32, by an artist who is also sadly famous for the number of his works which have been lost.

Originally named Gentile di Niccolo' di Giovanni di Massio, Gentile da Fabriano was hailed as one of the greatest artists of his day but most of the work which created his contemporary reputation has disappeared. His most famous surviving work is an altarpiece, the Adoration of the Magi (Uffizi, Florence, 1423), painted for the church of Santa Trinita' in Florence. Many art critics say this alone allows him to vie with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti as Italy's greatest International Gothic artist. It has been celebrated for its overall decorative majesty and naturalistic light effects.

The show will trace the development of Gentile's art over the course of his life (1370-1427) and highlight how he managed to obtain major commissions from all the leading courts in northern Italy. Gentile da Fabriano And The Other Renaissance runs from April 21 to July 23.