York Art Gallery

Italian Masterpieces from the Lycett Green Collection

At the dawn of the Renaissance most paintings were created for places of worship. The need to enhance the sacred atmosphere, provide a focus for devotion and reinforce aspects of religious teaching all inspired the production of new works of art.

As demand increased, workshops and studios sprang up across Italy and artists developed innovative ways of presenting holy themes. Religious paintings became prized for their artistic qualities, as well as their sacred significance, attracting admirers from Europe and beyond.

Sacred Spaces explores the changing nature of artistic production in Italy over a 400 year period. Travelling from 14th century Florence to 18th century Venice, it considers how the decoration of places of worship fostered new techniques and styles of painting, and generated new ideas about the meaning of art.

The display celebrates the Lycett Green collection, which was donated to York Art Gallery via the Art Fund in 1955.

Between the 1920s and 1950s F.D. Lycett Green amassed one of the most important private collections of art in the country, with the ambition of representing the development of European art from the early Renaissance to the modern age.

The collection is complemented by loans from The National Gallery, London, The National Gallery of Scotland, and contemporary commissions by artists Susie MacMurray and Phil Eglin.

Please note this exhibition has now closed.