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Exhibition of the week: Barocci: Brilliance and Grace, National Gallery, London WC2


British museums are short of paintings by the Italian mannerists and post-Renaissance artists, and Federico Barocci was recognised by his peers as the finest of his generation.

Too frail to paint more than a few hours a day, he took painstaking care to prepare his paintings with drawings – and one of the joys of this exhibition is the display of his sketches alongside the final works.

The result was a series of works relatively few in number but sure in effect: altarpieces and works for private devotion that expressed divinity through naturalism and purity of spirit, with a radical boldness of composition and colour palette.

020 7747 2885; nationalgallery.org.uk to 19 May