Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500
6 July – 2 October 2011
'Devotion by Design' explores the function, the original location, and the development of altarpieces in Italy during the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance.
Using the Galleries own collection, this exhibit explores the development of altarpieces from religious object to artefact. It looks at the changes in form, style and type of the altarpiece, examining the evolution of their physcial structure and their relationship to their frames and monumental architecture that surrounded them.Part of the exhibition focuses on fragments of the altarpiece, explaining the role different elements played in the overall ensemble. It examines the reasons why altarpieces came to be dismembered (often with the dissolution of religious institutions in the 18th and 19th centuries) and the methods that art historians now use to reassemble them .'Devotion by Design' showcases altarpieces by well-known artists such as Piero della Francesca, but includes many which are less familiar. It revisits works in the National Gallery Collection in a fresh and innovative light, drawing on the wealth of scholarship undertaken in this field in recent years.FInd out more.