(Baltimore, MD)—Carlo Crivelli, (ca. 1435–ca. 1495) known for the dazzling quality of his paintings, is one of the most original artists of the Italian Renaissance. Over the course of his career, the artist worked along the eastern Adriatic coast of Italy, creating altarpieces for churches as well as paintings for private devotion. The Walters Art Museum will present A Renaissance Original: Carlo Crivelli, an exhibition of 14 works from collections in North America and Europe, from February 28 through May 22, 2016. Admission to the exhibition is free for everyone.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a grouping of four of the six surviving panels from Crivelli’s famed Porto San Giorgio Altarpiece (1470), reunited from institutions in the United States and Europe for the first time since the 19thÂ century. Another highlight is the Walters’ own Madonna and Child with Saints and Donor (ca. 1490), in which Mary is depicted in simple, monumental forms, wearing a crown as Queen of Heaven. Likely displayed on the altar of a private chapel, the piece includes St. Francis, St. Bernardino of Siena, and the work’s donor, Fra Bernardino Ferretti.
“Crivelli draws together two cultures in a fascinating way, creating luminous masterpieces that meld the otherworldly with the everyday,” says Joaneath Spicer, curator of the exhibition and the James A. Murnaghan Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Art.Â “He responds to the realistic trends of his own time while respecting the past that is part of the culture of this Adriatic basin—the culture of his patrons—yet his style is all his own.”
Presented in the Walters’ Italian Early Renaissance Gallery, the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to reflect on Crivelli’s paintings in the context of works by predecessors and contemporaries. By turning a corner from the show, visitors encounter time-honored masterpieces from the museum’s collection, such as an early 15th-century gold-ground altarpiece, the masterpiece of Olivuccio di Ciccarello and one of the greatest works of the late medieval tradition from Italy’s Adriatic coast.
“The Walters has some of the world’s most treasured artworks; it belongs to the people of Baltimore and is free and open to everyone,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, the Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director of the Walters Art Museum. “We are committed to providing new ways for our visitors to experience these historic gems in new ways.”
The Walters’ collection features one of the most significant holdings of Italian Renaissance paintings in the Americas, including masterpieces by Raphael, Bellini, and Veronese. It was formed by both William T. Walters and his son Henry.
The Walters’ exhibition draws on the exhibition Ornament and Illusion: Carlo Crivelli of Venice (October 22, 2015–January 25, 2016) organized by the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston.
A Renaissance Original: Carlo Crivelli is generously supported by an anonymous donor and by members and contributors to the annual fund.
About the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum, located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at North Charles and Centre Streets, is free and open to the public. At the time of his death in 1931, museum founder Henry Walters left his entire collection of art to the city of Baltimore. Its collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. The Museum Store offers distinctive gifts, jewelry and books based on the museum’s collections.
Free admission to the Walters Art Museum is made possible by the combined generosity of individual members, friends and benefactors, foundations, corporations, and grants from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and Howard County Government and Howard County Arts Council.