Famous paintings: the works to see when you’re in Italy


In Italy an art binge is guaranteed, because every city, even the smallest one, houses small or large masterpieces. However, just to be safe, having a list of works and famous paintings you can’t miss in all seasons is a good thing.

Here is a list of famous paintings to see in Italy at Christmas.


1. “The Nativity of Jesus” by Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel (Padua) – this is one of those masterpieces housed inside one of the most precious masterworks of art.
I’ve already described its marvels in the post containing 5 things to know about the Scrovegni Chapel, but this Nativity which is actually a part of an amazing fresco cycle, depicts the moment of the birth of Jesus, by emphasizing emotions.

The Virgin Mary has a sweet face which only a mother can have when looking at her newborn child; Joseph is tired and rests closing his eyes; the angels are filled with emotion.
Giotto was the first to go beyond the medieval tradition and gives a sacred scene a human atmosphere.

Giotto | natività

Natività di Giotto, Cappella degli Scrovegni

2. “The Adoration of the Shepherds” by Rubens, Pinacoteca Civica (Municipal Art Gallery) (Fermo) – Rubens spent a lot of time in Italy to improve his artistic training, and left several works in the place where he lived.

This “Adoration of the Shepherds” was painted for the church of Saint Philip Neri in Fermo, and several scholars think this is a homage to the innovative style of Caravaggio, who was Rubens’ contemporary.

READ ALSO: 5 things to know Caravaggio.


Adorazione dei Pastori | Rubens

Adorazione dei Pastori di Rubens

3. “The Adoration of the Magi” by Dürer, Uffizi Gallery (Florence) – this is one of Dürer’s famous paintings and was commissioned for the altar of the Schlosskirche (Castle church) in Wittenberg by Frederick III of Saxony.
It’s one of Dürer’s most important works from the period between his first and second trips to Italy.

The painting arrived in Florence in 1793 when Luigi Lanzi, who at the time was the director of the Uffizi Gallery, acquired it from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in exchange for another work, in order to display in the Florentine art gallery the German Renaissance, too.

READ ALSO: The Uffizi Gallery, how to book your ticket.

Adorazione dei Magi | Albrecht Dürer

Adorazione dei Magi di Albrecht Dürer

4. “The Adoration of the Child” by Pinturicchio, Chapel of the Nativity or Della Rovere Chapel (Rome) not only famous paintings, but also frescoes. The nave on the right side of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome houses a fresco cycle by Pinturicchio and a marvellous “Adoration of the Child”.

The chapel was built by Cardinal Domenico Della Rovere from 1471 to 1484, after Pope Sixtus IV’s decision to reconstruct the church.

READ ALSO: Things to see in Rome.

Pinturicchio | Natività

Pinturicchio, Natività


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