A work by Barbara Longhi, a great painter of the 16th century, acquired by the Ravenna Mar.

The Ravenna MAR acquires a work by Barbara Longhi, an important 16th-century painter from Ravenna.

The MAR - Museo d’Arte della Città di Ravenna (Museum of Art of the City of Ravenna), has acquired a work by Barbara Longhi (Ravenna, 1552 - 1638), a Holy Family with St. John and St. Elizabeth, which was tracked down in an auction in Germany and purchased within a few days. The work, which had an estimate of 8-10 thousand euros, was attributed to the painter from Ravenna on the basis of a comparison with another canvas at the MAR, a Judith with the head of Holofernes: the heroine’s head recalls that of the Madonna in the painting that passed at auction in Germany in early July. It is a work from which his delicate and soft style, typical of his devotional painting, emerges.

The new acquisition, the MAR notes, grants scholars an additional element of comparison to delve deeper into Barbara Longhi’s production. The purchase was strongly advocated by Giorgia Salerno, head of cultural management at MAR, who spotted the work on the market.

“After some checks on the state of conservation of the work and on the stylistic trait attributed to Barbara Longhi, as mentioned in the auction catalog,” Giorgia Salerno recounted, “we felt that the work was indispensable for the enrichment of the museum’s heritage, which already has in its collections several works by Barbara and other members of the Longhi family. An artist from Ravenna who also deserves great attention with particular reference to her role as a female painter between the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”

“We are delighted to be able to announce the prestigious purchase,” say Elsa Signorino and Mauro Brighi, Ravenna’s councillor for culture and president of the MAR Institution, respectively, “and we will present as soon as possible the work of the artist who, together with Luca and Francesco Longhi, represents a landmark of 16th-century Ravenna and Italian art, also proven by the presence of her works in the collections of international museums such as the Louvre, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore as well as the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna and, of course, the MAR.”

“An acquisition that has value not only for the museum’s patrimonial growth,” emphasizes Maurizio Tarantino, director of the MAR, “but that opens to an increasingly careful path of enhancement of the collections, aimed both at national and international contemporary art and at ancient art linked to the territory, an exhibition line that is dedicated as much to heritage as to exhibitions.”

Pictured: Barbara Longhi, Holy Family with St. John and St. Elizabeth (oil on canvas; 117 x 94 cm; Ravenna, MAR)

A work by Barbara Longhi, a great painter of the 16th century, acquired by the Ravenna Mar.
A work by Barbara Longhi, a great painter of the 16th century, acquired by the Ravenna Mar.

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