Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, AKA Caravaggio, notorious bad boy of art, rebellious realist and master of chiaroscuro, spent much of his life, with all of its dramatic ups and downs, in Rome.
His wild behavior and the scandalous brushes with heresy brought on by his insistence on using unrepentantly grungy commonfolk for his models in religious works was matched only by the astonishing and undeniable force of his abilities as a painter. His influence on other painters was immediate and long lasting.
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, in cooperation with the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome is an exhibit examining his time in Rome and the impact of his innovations on other artists as diverse as Georges de La Tour, Jusepe de Ribera, Simon Vouet, Artemisia Gentileschi, Gerrit van Honthorst and Peter Paul Rubens.
The exhibition is focused around 10 major paintings by the master, surrounded by thematically related works by followers and others influenced by him.
Unfortunately, neither museum’s site does a good job of telling you about the exhibit. I’ve added some links to reviews below. There is also a video on YouTube that, though accompanied by an inexplicable choice of music, gives a quick walk through of the major pieces.
For the best reproductions of Caravaggio’s work online, I recommend the Web Gallery of Art. For more see my previous posts on Caravaggio, also listed below, that contain links to other resources. (The other “Caravaggio in Rome” post refers to a different exhibit that took place in Rome.)
Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome is at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa until September 11, 2011. It will then be on display at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas from October 16, 2011 to January 8, 2012.