By 1600 two art schools had formed in Rome, one was the caravaggism and another one was the academism. Both of them deeply influenced subsequent development of painting not only in Italy but in other European countries as well. Caravaggio and his disciples proclaimed the turn to reality as their basic principle whereas Bologna academism representatives with brothers Caracci at the head advocated the sanctity of classical cannons enriched with sketches from nature.
Vivid examples of caravaggism are: The Crowning with Thorns by Tommaso Salini and Fruit Seller by Bartolomeo Manfredi.
Bologna academism is represented in the museum with the works of leading artists of that school – Guido Reni, Simone Cantarini, Guercino, Luca Ferrari and some others. Bernardo Strozzi and Domenico Fetti lived and worked in Northern Italia where the development of painting took its own course.
The 17th century was the baroque epoch in the history of Italian art. Its prominent representatives were Pietro da Cortona from Rome and Luca Giordano from Naples. The baroque style gave a powerful impetus to a rise of still-life, landscape and genre painting. Innovative tendencies in the art of painting at the end of the 17th – beginning of the 18th century are most vividly observed in the works of Giuseppe Maria Crespi and Alessandro Magnasco.