National Gallery Director, Nicholas Penny, introduces us to Paolo Veronese’s masterpiece ‘The Adoration of the Kings’.
The painting emerged from a three-year cleaning process, brighter and clearer, and will feature in the Gallery’s exhibition, ‘Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice’.
Nicholas Penny gives a taste of what to expect in the exhibition by exploring Veronese’s masterful use of light, colour and intricate depiction of people.
To learn more about the exhibition, see
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meeting has been cleaned it took over three years to do it and it was put back on the gallery's walls several months ago and it really has changed our view of varanasi and of course we clean the picture partly because we knew it was going to do a very lazy exhibition it's beautifully painted every part including actually those parts which was really only conceived with it with a lather of the Angels at the very top it's really beautifully and lovingly painted in the composition there's a beam of light something which is totally and substantial which establishes a very very powerful diagonal which is one which is matched both by the build up of the figures and by the elements of the architecture itself so light is actually part of the composition and this golden light is now enormous ly enhanced not just because it's you can see how translucent it is they're beautifully painted but also by contrast with a kind of white light that is present for example on the little dabs of paint on the very tips of Christ's fingers where they're raised Christ's right hand and then the the light also in the Marvis head of the white bearded man he was very very much admired for the beauty of his painting of flesh but people actually also did respond to his painting of old men whom he makes extremely vigorous and and gives them a kind of spiritual charge which is absolutely best exemplified by the white bearded King in this picture he seems to be as vital as anyone who's younger he has his own beauty in a way but he's extremely expressive face with his marvelously painted vein on his forehead which has come out so beautifully and in the cleaning it is a painting energy actually as well and of movement as I said of light but the impact of the picture has been completely transformed and it gained in drama from the vividness of the foreground figures and this chain of figures surging across the painting and the quality of light that United them but also added to that drama and makes you focus on the infant Christ was also enormous ly enhanced so it's become a much much more beautiful picture but also much much more dramatic picture and drama is I think something which people have underestimated in inverness because he's seen as an artist as who painted contentment happiness beauty actually he's also very dramatic and effectively dramatic painter and a great painter of narrative and I think that will will come across in this exhibition you