Spanning the 15th through the 18th centuries, these 60 works by Italian, Spanish, French, English, Dutch and Flemish masters provide a glimpse into the political, religious, and cultural environments that shaped a golden era in the arts in Europe.
The earliest of the works in the exhibition is The Finding of Vulcan on the Island of Lemnos (ca. 1490), a large mythological scene by Italian Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo. Because Vulcan was the first mortal to tame the gift of fire, the precisely rendered painting reflects the era’s growing humanism, a philosophy that celebrated humanity’s progress and accomplishments. Created over one hundred years later, Caravaggio’s Saint Francis of Assisi (ca. 1594–95) embodies the Baroque period’s interest in drama and emotion.