For almost a year and a half, Seattle has been seriously starved for pre-20th-century art. When the newly expanded Seattle Art Museum opens, you might be surprised at how refreshing it is to see centuries-old European paintings, Islamic and Egyptian artifacts, and ancient Asian masterpieces.
SAM curator Chiyo Ishikawa leads a tour connecting five paintings across time and across Europe—paintings by a Renaissance Florentine; a 16th-century Flemish mannerist; Lucas Cranach the Elder; and two 17th-century Spaniards, one being Bartolomé Estebán Murillo.
Most of these have never been seen before publicly in Seattle. They're new acquisitions, or loans, or part of that sad species often trapped in too-small buildings like the former SAM—the gems that almost never come out of storage.
In addition to Ishikawa's podcast tour, here's a slide show of the five works she selected to feature. You'll see them in person when the museum opens May 5.