The Italian Almanac

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Italian Art - May 29

The Portland Art Museum engages in a major international cultural exchange with the museums of Brescia, Italy and the international exhibition company Linea d'ombra, to present Great Painters in Brescia from the Renaissance to the 18th Century. The Portland Art Museum is the exclusive North American venue for this special exhibition, bringing for the first time treasures of Italian art from the 16th to 18th century to the city of Portland. The exhibition showcases 35 works from Brescia's museums, presented in a broad chronological survey that outlines the trajectory of the art of painting as it developed in this Italian city. Subjects ranging from awe-inspiring religious scenes to portraits of riveting psychological intensity introduce the viewer to the essence of Italy's finest artistic achievements. Great Painters in Brescia from the Renaissance to the 18th Century is on view until September 17, 2006.

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the artistic legacy of a regional artistic center in Italy to a burgeoning cultural community in the Pacific Northwest," said Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, Curator of European Art at the Portland Art Museum. "It came about as part of an extended exchange where the Portland Art Museum lent three of its Impressionist paintings to Brescia for the 2005 exhibition Monet, the Seine and the Waterlillies, organized by Linea d'ombra. More than 440,000 visitors in Italy saw the hugely successful exhibition. Now, Linea d'ombra has made it possible for us to present masterpieces that we have selected from the holdings of the museums of Brescia to represent this city's special contribution to the development of Renaissance and Baroque painting."

The exhibition presents paintings by artists who worked in Brescia over a span of three centuries. It is divided by century with thematic sub-groupings.