Caravaggio in Rome

Caravaggio in Rome
Michelangelo Merisi, AKA Caravaggio, was one of history’s great painters. Born in Milan, his later assigned name come from his father’s association with the town of Caravaggio.

Caravaggio spent a good part of his checkered life in Rome, where an exhibition of his work goes went on display on the 20th of February and runs ran until 13 June, 2011 2010. [Sorry: got the year wrong – this was last year, I got caught in an internet time warp. I’ve changed tense in the rest of the article See addendum below.]

The exhibition marked the 400th anniversary of the artist’s death and was at the Scuderie del Quirinale, a museum housed in what was once stables for a palace.

The exhibition consisted of 24 paintings, seemingly a small number for a major exhibit, but the curators eschewed the usual practice of including works “related to” or “of the school of, or “from the workshop of” and limited the selections to works accepted without question to be from the master’s hand.

On loan from a number of sources were some of Caravaggio’s most striking and iconic works, a surprising accomplishment given the anniversary year.

The museum’s pages for the exhibition have information and a viewer for the works. The latter is unfortunately a poorly designed Flash module, in which you must painstakingly click through the thumbnails three at a time (how much simpler a page of linked thumbnails would have been, but museum sites love their little widgets).

The reward, after clicking on the larger preview image, is a pop-up with a reasonably large image of the painting. It’s tedious, but worth clicking through just to see the impressive selection of works included in the exhibit.

For better reproductions, see a resource like the Web Gallery of Art, or one of the many other resources for Caravaggio listed on ArtCyclopedia.

[Correction: I saw a notice about this exhibit in Rome, that is current and runs to 15 May, 2011. I did a Google search and came up with the other one from last year. Sorry to disappoint, but the online resources are still there and make a good jumping off point for digging into Caravaggio, always a worthwhile pursuit. – Charley]

6 Replies to “Caravaggio in Rome”

  1. Apparently the Show is coming to Canada , in Ottawa…The National Gallery of Canada later this year 2011.
    I am pretty sure this is correct…

  2. Thank you for the info! I’ve always wanted to see a Caravaggio in person.

    If you’re interested in Caravaggio, you may want to check out the book “The Lost Painting” by Jonathon Harr. It tells the story of Caravaggio’s most recently discovered painting, “The Taking of Christ”. It reads almost like a detective novel, the mystery being _where has this painting been for so many years?_ It was very good.

    Oh, and see that guy up in the right hand corner? He’s holding a lamp and he’s standing with the Romans, though he is not dressed like one of them. That’s Caravaggio himself. Nifty, eh?

  3. For those who missed last years Caravaggio exhibit in Rome,there will be an exhibition in the National Gallery of Canada. I believe it starts in June running through September.

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