The exhibition called “The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”— now at the Metropolitan Museum in New York—began its American tour at the National Gallery in Washington in December.[1] It is immense, with two hundred paintings, which are in many cases colossal. In Washington, it was installed not in the Gallery’s East Wing, the building provided for temporary shows, nor on the ground floor of the original main building, where such shows can still occasionally be seen. Rather, most exceptionally, it took up twenty-three galleries of the main floor. Even in that much space, to be sure, any exhibition can get swallowed up in the museum’s three-block-long structure. The beaux-arts building, with its very high ceilings, reflects, even a bit insistently, the status of the...

 

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