Venue Hire

'The Nativity' by Baldassare Peruzzi

Peruzzi painting of The Nativity scene
Permanent Exhibition

The Nativity by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481–1536), the first High Renaissance painting to enter a public collection in Northern Ireland, is now on display in Gallery 1, 'Renaissance to Romanticism', and is free to all.

Painted around 1515 in Rome, The Nativity is an exceptionally rare surviving work by Peruzzi. It is the only painting by the artist in the UK! A highly talented Italian painter, architect and draughtsman, Peruzzi was born in 1481 in a small town near Siena. After Michelangelo and Raphael, he was the leading artistic figure in Rome during the first decades of the 1500s, an intensely creative period now termed the High Renaissance. 

Almost all of Peruzzi’s painted work was in fresco and much has been lost, making The Nativity an incredibly rare surviving work on panel. The painting has been undergoing conservation work and scientific analysis at the National Gallery in London before it moved to our museum and its permanent home here in Northern Ireland. 

The Nativity is the first High Renaissance painting to enter the Ulster Museum collection, enabling us to offer access to Renaissance art of the highest quality to our audiences.

This painting was acquired following export deferral with the assistance of grants from the Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Department for Communities NI and the Esmé Mitchell Trust, 2022. We'd also like to credit the National Conservation Programme and the Aldama Foundation. 

Photo © The National Gallery, London. Ulster Museum Collection