Genoa

European paintings curator Xavier Salomon on the impact of Genoa on the world.

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Most people think of Rome, think of Florence, think of Venice, but as far as I'm concerned they are amusement parks for tourists. Genoa has remained the real thing.

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  • Xavier Salomon
    1280852
  • Modern Rome  |  1757  |  Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1952 (52.63.2)
    1280996
  • American Girl in Italy  |  1951  |  Ruth Orkin (American)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.25)  |  © Ruth Orkin
    12801005
  • View of Genoa  |  1604  |  Anonymous (Italian)  |  Gift of Nathan Chaikin, 1961 (61.524.67(10))
    12501024
  • Count Giacomo Durazzo (1717–1794) in the Guise of a Huntsman, with His Wife (Ernestine Aloisia Ungnad von Weissenwolff, 1732–1794)  |  probably early 1760s  |  Martin van Meytens the Younger (Swedish)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nate B. Spingold, 1950 (50.50)
    8471024
  • The Harbor—Genoa  |  1894  |  James Craig Annan (Scottish)  |  Photogravure  |  Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.298)
    941701
  • Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus (born about 1446, died 1506)  |  1519  |  Sebastiano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani) (Italian)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1900 (00.18.2)
    8451024
  • Mongol passport (paizi)  |  Yuan dynasty, 13th century  |  China  |  Iron with silver inlay  |  Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1993 (1993.256)
    7351024
  • Mongol passport (paizi)  |  Yuan dynasty, 13th century  |  China  |  Iron with silver inlay  |  Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1993 (1993.256)
    7711024
  • Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) growing in a bed of culinary plants in Bonnefont garden at The Cloisters.   |  Basil was one of the aromatic herbs used in the green sauces characteristic of medieval cuisine.
    955796
  • Velvet panel  |  ca. 1700  |  Italian (probably Genoa)  |  Silk velvet, cut and uncut on satin ground  |  Rogers Fund, 1938 (38.182.2)
    6281024
  • Rodeo, New York City  |  1955  |  Robert Frank (American, born Switzerland)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz, 1992 (1992.5162.3)
    6951024
  • Jockstrap  |  1965–75  |  American  |  Cotton, nylon, plastic  |  Gift of Serendipity 3 Denim Clothing Collection, 1977 (1977.333.55)
    7681024
  • Andrea Doria of Genoa (1468–1560)  |  ca. 1541  |  Medalist: Leone Leoni (Italian)  |  Bronze  |  Gift of Ogden Mills, 1925 (25.142.48)
    12801023
  • Jupiter and Juno: Study for the 'Furti di Giove' Tapestries  |  ca. 1532–35  |  Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian)  |  Pen and dark brown ink with brown and gray wash, heightened with white  |  Purchase, Acquisitions Fund and Annette and Oscar de la Renta Gift, 2011 (2011.36)
    9051024
  • August from a set of the Twelve Months  |  ca. 1525–28  |  Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish)  |  Wool, silk  |  Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
    9231024
  • Palazzi di Genova  |  1622  |  After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish)  |  Etching and letterpress text  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(21))
    1280981
  • Palazzi di Genova  |  1622  |  After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish)  |  Etching and letterpress text  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(39))
    6921024
  • Pair of Mirrored Double Doors  |  ca. 1743–44  |  Lorenzo de Ferrari (Italian)  |  Lindenwood, carved and gilded; mirrored glass panels, walnut, pine  |  Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.307a, b)
    5821024
  • Pair of Mirrored Double Doors  |  ca. 1743–44  |  Lorenzo de Ferrari (Italian)  |  Lindenwood, carved and gilded; mirrored glass panels, walnut, pine  |  Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.307a, b)
    9971024
  • Pair of Mirrored Double Doors  |  ca. 1743–44  |  Lorenzo de Ferrari (Italian)  |  Lindenwood, carved and gilded; mirrored glass panels, walnut, pine  |  Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.307a, b)
    11281024
  • Portrait of a Woman, Called the Marchesa Durazzo  |  1621–27  |  Anthony van Dyck (Flemish)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.615)
    8551024
  • The Annunciation, parts of a polyptych  |  1506  |  Gerard David (Netherlandish)  |  Oil on wood  |  Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.9ab)
    8201024
  • The Annunciation, parts of a polyptych  |  1506  |  Gerard David (Netherlandish)  |  Oil on wood  |  Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.9ab)
    8261024
  • October from a set of the Twelve Months  |  ca. 1525–28  |  Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish)  |  Wool, silk  |  Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
    9201024
  • Design for an Overdoor Decoration (recto); Rinceaux (verso)  |  1647–1726  |  Gregorio de' Ferrari (Italian)  |  Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk (recto); rinceaux in red chalk (verso)  |  Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.95.9)
    7511024
  • Xavier Salomon
    1280852
  • My name is Xavier Salomon. I'm a curator in the department of European paintings, and I will be talking about Genoa.

  • I grew up in Rome, and lived in Italy most of my young life. Most people think of Rome, think of Florence, think of Venice, as far

  • as I'm concerned, they are sort of amusement parks for tourists in a way. Genoa's remained the real thing. It is a city

  • that's closed geographically between the sea and the mountains. You feel you've left the rest of the world behind, and you're in a little area that's away from the rest, and I enjoy that.

  • It's also a city of huge contrasts. Elegant, refined, but it's also seedy

  • decadent and falling apart in a way. And I like the contrast between those things.

  • I find the idea of traveling and exotic aspects of the world is very much linked with Genoa. America is discovered by a Genoese man. And when I go to Genoa, I stay with a friend. From

  • his windows, I can see the prison where Marco Polo wrote his travel book.

  • The medallion reminds me of traveling through the land of Khubilai Khan and I always wonder if Marco Polo had something like that when he was traveling.

  • I think of Genoa when I think of everyday life that we use, we eat, we wear. Pesto, for example, is a common sauce for pasta or salad, but of course it's invented in Genoa.

  • Genoa also produced extraordinary fabrics. Amazing velvets like this example. It's amazing to think that at the same time, the Genoese invented

  • jeans. I like to think of cowboys in the west wearing something that was invented for sailors in the Renaissance on the other side of the Atlantic. This

  • jock strap, it's not something I would necessarily ever wear, but it seems to encapsulate that idea of something that's made with a very simple fabric and yet the effect is very over the top.

  • Andrea Doria, the great revival of art in Genoa in the sixteenth century is basically due to him.

  • We have designs for tapestries like the beautiful Perino del Vaga. But we

  • also have tapestries of the months, but there are another three that are still in the palace where he lived.

  • The idea of building the biggest, tallest buildings made out of glass and metal in America, is the same idea in Genoa in the seventeenth century.

  • When you see palaces in Genoa you always have this sense that everything is filled to the maximum.

  • The doors of Palazzo Correga Cataldi are made out of mirror and gilded wood.

  • I like to get lost looking at them and just following the lines and

  • it's this series of curved lines that goes over and over and sort of seems to never stop.

  • I find that people are reflected by the city they live in. It's a bit like the dog resembling his owner. And we have a portrait of a Genoese woman. When I look at her, I think of the Genoese women today.

  • When I see Gerard David's Annunciation, I don't really think of the Netherlands, but actually think of the church for which it was painted in Genoa, one of the most beautiful places on the earth.

  • It's on the seaside, and I think of the waves crashing underneath the church and I think of the wisteria in spring there. It's just magical to think of a picture like this, that would have been in a place like that.

  • I don't know if my attitude changes because I'm there, or if I'm there because that's the city that my attitude works with. It's definitely a

  • symbiotic relationship. There are times when I wonder if I lived there in a previous life. It's a strange effect of

  • feeling at home in a place that is a foreign place, effectively.

  • 52.63.2
    Modern Rome, 1757, Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian), Oil on canvas Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1952 (52.63.2)
  • 67.543.25
    American Girl in Italy, 1951, Ruth Orkin (American), Gelatin silver print Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.25) © Ruth Orkin
  • 61.524.67(10)
    View of Genoa, 1604, Anonymous (Italian) Gift of Nathan Chaikin, 1961 (61.524.67(10))
  • 50.50
    Count Giacomo Durazzo (1717–1794) in the Guise of a Huntsman, with His Wife (Ernestine Aloisia Ungnad von Weissenwolff, 1732–1794), probably early 1760s, Martin van Meytens the Younger (Swedish), Oil on canvas Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nate B. Spingold, 1950 (50.50)
  • 49.55.298
    The Harbor—Genoa, 1894, James Craig Annan (Scottish), Photogravure Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.298)
  • 00.18.2
    Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus (born about 1446, died 1506), 1519, Sebastiano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani) (Italian), Oil on canvas Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1900 (00.18.2)
  • 1993.256
    Mongol passport (paizi), Yuan dynasty, 13th century, China, Iron with silver inlay Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1993 (1993.256)
  • 38.182.2
    Velvet panel, ca. 1700, Italian (probably Genoa), Silk velvet, cut and uncut on satin ground Rogers Fund, 1938 (38.182.2)
  • 1992.5162.3
    Rodeo, New York City, 1955, Robert Frank (American, born Switzerland), Gelatin silver print Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz, 1992 (1992.5162.3)
  • 1977.333.55
    Jockstrap, 1965–75, American, Cotton, nylon, plastic Gift of Serendipity 3 Denim Clothing Collection, 1977 (1977.333.55)
  • 25.142.48
    Andrea Doria of Genoa (1468–1560), ca. 1541, Medalist: Leone Leoni (Italian), Bronze Gift of Ogden Mills, 1925 (25.142.48)
  • 2011.36
    Jupiter and Juno: Study for the 'Furti di Giove' Tapestries, ca. 1532–35, Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian), Pen and dark brown ink with brown and gray wash, heightened with white Purchase, Acquisitions Fund and Annette and Oscar de la Renta Gift, 2011 (2011.36)
  • 19.172.1
    August from a set of the Twelve Months, ca. 1525–28, Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish), Wool, silk Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
  • 38.97(21)
    Palazzi di Genova, 1622, After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish), Etching and letterpress text Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(21))
  • 38.97(39)
    Palazzi di Genova, 1622, After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish), Etching and letterpress text Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(39))
  • 1991.307a,b
    Pair of Mirrored Double Doors, ca. 1743–44, Lorenzo de Ferrari (Italian), Lindenwood, carved and gilded; mirrored glass panels, walnut, pine Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.307a, b)
  • 14.40.615
    Portrait of a Woman, Called the Marchesa Durazzo, 1621–27, Anthony van Dyck (Flemish), Oil on canvas Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.615)
  • 50.145.9ab
    The Annunciation, parts of a polyptych, 1506, Gerard David (Netherlandish), Oil on wood Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.9ab)
  • 19.172.2
    October from a set of the Twelve Months, ca. 1525–28, Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish), Wool, silk Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
  • 67.95.9
    Design for an Overdoor Decoration (recto); Rinceaux (verso), 1647–1726, Gregorio de' Ferrari (Italian), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk (recto); rinceaux in red chalk (verso) Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.95.9)
  • Modern Rome, 1757, Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian), Oil on canvas Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1952 (52.63.2)
    American Girl in Italy, 1951, Ruth Orkin (American), Gelatin silver print Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.25) © Ruth Orkin
    View of Genoa, 1604, Anonymous (Italian) Gift of Nathan Chaikin, 1961 (61.524.67(10))
    Count Giacomo Durazzo (1717–1794) in the Guise of a Huntsman, with His Wife (Ernestine Aloisia Ungnad von Weissenwolff, 1732–1794), probably early 1760s, Martin van Meytens the Younger (Swedish), Oil on canvas Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nate B. Spingold, 1950 (50.50)
    The Harbor—Genoa, 1894, James Craig Annan (Scottish), Photogravure Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.298)
    Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus (born about 1446, died 1506), 1519, Sebastiano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani) (Italian), Oil on canvas Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1900 (00.18.2)
    Mongol passport (paizi), Yuan dynasty, 13th century, China, Iron with silver inlay Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1993 (1993.256)
    Velvet panel, ca. 1700, Italian (probably Genoa), Silk velvet, cut and uncut on satin ground Rogers Fund, 1938 (38.182.2)
    Rodeo, New York City, 1955, Robert Frank (American, born Switzerland), Gelatin silver print Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz, 1992 (1992.5162.3)
    Jockstrap, 1965–75, American, Cotton, nylon, plastic Gift of Serendipity 3 Denim Clothing Collection, 1977 (1977.333.55)
    Andrea Doria of Genoa (1468–1560), ca. 1541, Medalist: Leone Leoni (Italian), Bronze Gift of Ogden Mills, 1925 (25.142.48)
    Jupiter and Juno: Study for the 'Furti di Giove' Tapestries, ca. 1532–35, Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian), Pen and dark brown ink with brown and gray wash, heightened with white Purchase, Acquisitions Fund and Annette and Oscar de la Renta Gift, 2011 (2011.36)
    August from a set of the Twelve Months, ca. 1525–28, Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish), Wool, silk Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
    Palazzi di Genova, 1622, After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish), Etching and letterpress text Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(21))
    Palazzi di Genova, 1622, After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish), Etching and letterpress text Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(39))
    Pair of Mirrored Double Doors, ca. 1743–44, Lorenzo de Ferrari (Italian), Lindenwood, carved and gilded; mirrored glass panels, walnut, pine Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.307a, b)
    Portrait of a Woman, Called the Marchesa Durazzo, 1621–27, Anthony van Dyck (Flemish), Oil on canvas Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.615)
    The Annunciation, parts of a polyptych, 1506, Gerard David (Netherlandish), Oil on wood Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.9ab)
    October from a set of the Twelve Months, ca. 1525–28, Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish), Wool, silk Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
    Design for an Overdoor Decoration (recto); Rinceaux (verso), 1647–1726, Gregorio de' Ferrari (Italian), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk (recto); rinceaux in red chalk (verso) Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.95.9)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Modern Rome
    1757
    Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian)
    Oil on canvas
    Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1952 (52.63.2)
    On view: Gallery 620
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    American Girl in Italy
    1951
    Ruth Orkin (American)
    Gelatin silver print
    Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.25)
    © Ruth Orkin
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    View of Genoa
    1604
    Anonymous (Italian)
    Gift of Nathan Chaikin, 1961 (61.524.67(10))
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Count Giacomo Durazzo (1717–1794) in the Guise of a Huntsman, with His Wife (Ernestine Aloisia Ungnad von Weissenwolff, 1732–1794)
    probably early 1760s
    Martin van Meytens the Younger (Swedish)
    Oil on canvas
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nate B. Spingold, 1950 (50.50)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    The Harbor—Genoa
    1894
    James Craig Annan (Scottish)
    Photogravure
    Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.298)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus (born about 1446, died 1506)
    1519
    Sebastiano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani) (Italian)
    Oil on canvas
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1900 (00.18.2)
    On view: Gallery 607
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Mongol passport (paizi)
    Yuan dynasty, 13th century
    China
    Iron with silver inlay
    Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1993 (1993.256)
    Not on view
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    Velvet panel
    ca. 1700
    Italian (probably Genoa)
    Silk velvet, cut and uncut on satin ground
    Rogers Fund, 1938 (38.182.2)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Rodeo, New York City
    1955
    Robert Frank (American, born Switzerland)
    Gelatin silver print
    Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz, 1992 (1992.5162.3)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Jockstrap
    1965–75
    American
    Cotton, nylon, plastic
    Gift of Serendipity 3 Denim Clothing Collection, 1977 (1977.333.55)
    Not on view
    The Costume InstituteFirst Floor
    Andrea Doria of Genoa (1468–1560)
    ca. 1541
    Medalist: Leone Leoni (Italian)
    Bronze
    Gift of Ogden Mills, 1925 (25.142.48)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Jupiter and Juno: Study for the 'Furti di Giove' Tapestries
    ca. 1532–35
    Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian)
    Pen and dark brown ink with brown and gray wash, heightened with white
    Purchase, Acquisitions Fund and Annette and Oscar de la Renta Gift, 2011 (2011.36)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsFirst Floor
    August from a set of the Twelve Months
    ca. 1525–28
    Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish)
    Wool, silk
    Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
    On view: Gallery 520
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Palazzi di Genova
    1622
    After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish)
    Etching and letterpress text
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(21))
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Palazzi di Genova
    1622
    After Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish)
    Etching and letterpress text
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938 (38.97(39))
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Pair of Mirrored Double Doors
    ca. 1743–44
    Lorenzo de Ferrari (Italian)
    Lindenwood, carved and gilded; mirrored glass panels, walnut, pine
    Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.307a, b)
    On view: Gallery 551
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Portrait of a Woman, Called the Marchesa Durazzo
    1621–27
    Anthony van Dyck (Flemish)
    Oil on canvas
    Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.615)
    On view: Gallery 628
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    The Annunciation, parts of a polyptych
    1506
    Gerard David (Netherlandish)
    Oil on wood
    Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.9ab)
    On view: Gallery 640
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    October from a set of the Twelve Months
    ca. 1525–28
    Possibly after a design by the workshop of Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish)
    Wool, silk
    Bequest of Helen C. Juilliard, 1916 (19.172.1)
    On view: Gallery 520
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Design for an Overdoor Decoration (recto); Rinceaux (verso)
    1647–1726
    Gregorio de' Ferrari (Italian)
    Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk (recto); rinceaux in red chalk (verso)
    Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.95.9)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art