PREVIEW: Giovanni da Rimini: An Early 14th Century Masterpiece Unveiled, National Gallery

The National Gallery will display Giovanni da Rimini’s late Medieval painting Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints from the 14th June it has been announced. 

The Crucifixion, Noli Me Tangere, 1330s

The Crucifixion, Noli Me Tangere, Francesco da Rimini. (c) National Gallery Ireland, Dublin. 

Over 700 years old, visitors can discover the painting which unites the tradition of late Byzantine icons with a new, more sophisticated style of painting, rich in narrative detail.

Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints was acquired by the National Gallery with the help of the generous donation of the New York collector and philanthropist Ronald S. Lauder. While the painting will reside with Mr Lauder throughout his life, the painting will be on display at regular intervals at the London gallery.

For the first time in the UK, this exhibition will bring together three easel paintings unanimously attributed to Giovanni da Rimini: Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints with the very closely related Scenes from the Life of Christ from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome; and The Virgin and Child with Five Saints from the Pinacoteca Comunale, Faenza, Italy.

Consisting of 10 objects in total, the exhibition will feature seven panel paintings including loans from the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin and the Courtauld Gallery, London; two ivory panels from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum; and one fragment from an illuminated leaf from a private collection.

The display will also feature work by the leading artists of early 14th-century Rimini: Neri da Rimini; Francesco da Rimini/Master of Verucchio; Giovanni Baronzio; as well as the great Florentine painter and architect, Giotto, who worked in Rimini for a brief period.

Through the exhibition, visitors will discover more about the painting and its meaning as well as rediscovering the artist himself and to view his work in the historical context of early 14th-century Western European painting.

Talking about the exhibition Dr Anna Koopstra, Simon Sainsbury Curatorial Assistant, and curator of the exhibition said: “Giovanni da Rimini’s Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints is one of the most beautiful panel paintings of the Riminese School. It shows that Giovanni da Rimini, who was working in Rimini in the years around 1300, was a highly original artist. His artistic achievements were of crucial importance to the development of Italian painting.”

Giovanni da Rimini: An Early 14th- Century Masterpiece Unveiled will be on display at the National Gallery from the 14th June until the 8th October. For more information visit: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/giovanni-da-rimini-an-early-14th-century-masterpiece-unveiled