This spring, visitors to the National Gallery of Canada will see rare and valuable works from 16th century Rome presented together, some for the first time.
The gallery announced From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome during the unveiling of its 2009 lineup yesterday.
Running from May 29 to Sept. 7, the 150-piece exhibit, which features art from the Italian Renaissance, will attract people from all over the world, said NGC chief curator and exhibition curator Dr. David Franklin.
The exhibit, which examines Renaissance Rome, is arranged chronologically, pope by pope, from Julius II to Clement VIII, revealing a wealth of works created through the arts patronage of the Roman Catholic Church and featuring the celebrated masters of Italian art, including Raphael, Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari, Federico Barocci and Annibale Carracci.
It took five years to put the exhibit together, said Franklin.
"It was hard to borrow the big names," he said. "One has to be very persuasive."
Franklin's proposal for the exhibit -- to show the importance of Raphael as an influence of the 16th century -- proved to be convincing enough that the Vatican and the Queen lent some of the most famous works.
"The exhibit will be of great educational value," said NGC director Marc Mayer following Monday's announcement. "It's very rare to see these pieces in Canada. They are scattered all over the U.S. and Europe -- it is the first time they have been brought together to tell the story of Rome.
"Most of the works have never been displayed outside of Italy before or have appeared together in a single exhibition."
Other exhibits in the 2009 lineup include Nomads, which focuses on works by Vancouver-based artists whose practices manifest different interpretations of nomadism; Paolo Veronese and the Petrobelli Altarpiece; the works of American artist Thomas Nozkowski, the first exhibit organized by Mayer since he was named director; David Hoffos: Scenes from the House Drea; Nature Draws Her Own Portrait: 19th-century French Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada; the Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective Exhibition; Miller Brittain: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears; and Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View.