BSR Members' Lecture, 11 March 2013 at The British Academy

BSR Members and friends are cordially invited to:

Drawing Nature, Colouring Heaven: the Divine Inventions of Federico Barocci


Dr Carol Plazzotta

Myojin Senior Research Curator

The National Gallery



Monday, 11 March 2013

6.00 – 8.00 p.m.

The British Academy

10 Carlton House Terrace

London SW1Y 5AH

Please RSVP in case of acceptance to:

Mrs Mary Ellen Mathewson (

(020) 7969 5247


Federico Barocci (about 1526–1612) was born in Urbino, in the Marche region of central eastern Italy. His precocious talent in drawing and painting led him to Rome, where he was struck down by a severe illness, perhaps the result of poisoning by jealous rivals. Returning to tranquil Urbino, where he found encouragement at the Della Rovere court, Barocci devoted himself to a succession of religious and aristocratic commissions.

Barocci fused the sweetness and compositional harmony of works by Raphael, his famous predecessor in Urbino, with an unparalleled sensitivity to colour. He pioneered the technique of making coloured preparatory sketches in chalk, pastel and oil. These innovations, together with his dynamic and expressive figural arrangements, anticipated by almost half a century the developments of Baroque art.

Frequently drawing from life and inspired by the people, animals and landscapes of his native Urbino, Barocci’s works exude a warmth and humanity that made them instantly popular and still profoundly moving to this day. The National Gallery exhibition (27 February – 19 May) gathers paintings never before seen in the UK and displays them alongside Barocci’s brilliant preparatory sketches.


Last Supper (1590-99), Chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento, Cathedral, Urbino

(© Scala, Florence, courtesy of Ufficio Beni Culturali, Diocesi di Urbino)


 ‘Self-Portrait’ (1595-60), Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

(© 2013. Photo Scala, Florence, courtesy of Ministero Beni e Att. Culturali)