Masterpieces of Italian Artists Exhibit in Santa Barbara



What comes to mind when you think of Scotland? The Loch Ness Monster, bagpipes, kilts, Scotch whisky? Whatever Scottish stereotype pops into your head, you probably don’t think about art collections. And you probably don’t specifically think about art collections that include every significant era in Italian painting history.


Surprisingly, you should. Because Scotland’s Glasgow Museums own a comprehensive Italian art collection that’s currently touring the United States, and it’s in Santa Barbara right now!


“Botticelli, Titian, and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums.” Will be on display at The Santa Barbara Museum of Art through May 3rd.  You can view the exhibit during The Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s normal operating hours. It’s open  Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm, and additionally 5pm to 8pm on Thursday evenings. Best of all, admission is only $10. Santa Barbara is the only West Coast destination for the exhibit so be sure to see it while you can!


What’s in the collection?

“Masterpieces of Italian Painting” contains a wide range of over 40 works representing every major period of Italian art, the collection is split into different sections, which describe and divide the works based on century.


The collection begins with the 1300s in a section titled: “ The Renaissance: Tradition and Discover” and finishes with pieces from the 1800s in “Patriotism and Genre” Of course the centuries in between are important as well, but the collections hallmark is its sheer scope.


Some of the notable artists featured in the collection are:

  • Giovanni
  • Bellini
  • Sandro Botticelli
  • Domenicho
  • Francesco Guardi
  • Salvator Rosa
  • Luca Signorelli
  • Titian


The story behind the collections origins is almost as interesting as the pieces it contains. It wasn’t a monarch or a secret society of elites who assembled the collection, but a coachbuilder.


Archibald McClellan is the man singlehandedly most responsible for the formation of the collection. During his life, McClellan put together the collection and then gave it to the city of Glasgow upon his death. For not being a professional or artistic scholar, McClellan was strangely academic. He chose artists and pieces based on theme rather than personal preference or style. The collection contains works  based on religious and moral ideas.  In fact it was originally called “Of heaven and Earth” before it’s north American tour.



Botticelli, Titian, and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian Painting


When: Through May 3rd

Where: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Admission: $10



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