The room will be available to visit when the gallery opens its doors to the public on the 8th July.
Following a 21 month refurbishment, the National Gallery has announced that Room 32 which displays 17th-century Italian paintings by artists including Caravaggio, Artemisia and Orazio Gentileschi, Guido Reni and Guercino will reopen on the 8th July as the The Julia and Hans Rausing Room.
The purpose of the refurbishment, made possible by the generous support of Julia and Hans Rausing, was to reinstate the the original decorative scheme of its architect, Edward M Barry (1830–1880), as seen in Giuseppe Gabrielli’s painting of 1886 (on loan from the Government Art Collection). This includes the dark red wall cloth, ornate painted frieze and lunettes, whose designs alternate winged lions with dolphins, have all been reinstated according to the original colour scheme. Completely new air conditioning and lighting systems have also been installed.
Meanwhile, the paintings that hang in the gallery have also been rehung in a new way for effect. Many of the paintings in the room were commissioned to adorn the palaces of wealthy patrons in Rome, Florence, Bologna, Naples and Genoa.
Letizia Treves, The James and Sarah Sassoon Curator of Later Italian, Spanish, and French 17th-century Paintings says ‘As curator of this area, it has been thrilling to follow the refurbishment of the room and plan the redisplay of the Italian Baroque paintings. One of the most satisfying moments was hanging our recent acquisitions by Artemisia and Orazio Gentileschi in their new definitive home, alongside other masterpieces from this part of the collection.’
Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, London commented: ‘As we reopen to the public we are very proud to present the completely refurbished Julia and Hans Rausing Room, the largest gallery in the building. Splendidly hung with Italian Baroque paintings, it creates a sumptuous impression. I am immensely grateful to Julia and Hans Rausing for supporting the complete restoration of this gallery, now open for all to enjoy.’
The National Gallery will open to the public on the 8th July. Visitors must pre-book a ticket to visit. To find out more visit:https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/