An exhibition that adopts a radically innovative and up-to-date approach to this extremely famous and enormously celebrated "Lombard genius".
A large amount of recent research and scholarship, along with numerous exhibitions and papers probing the life and career of Michelangelo Merisi, alias Caravaggio, have confirmed growing worldwide interest in this artist's painting and the pivotal role that painting has played in the history of art over the past four centuries. This is the backdrop and the mood that has spawned the idea for a new and ambitiously "simple" exhibition - an exciting and straightforward display devised on the basis of a stringent criterion and presented to the public in a tight rather than an anthological exhibit focusing exclusively on the artist's "capital" works; in other words, including only those works historically ascertained to be by the master's own hand.
The decision to focus only on paintings known to be by Caravaggio himself has meant that we have excluded any works attributed to his "school" and have set aside, almost in a kind of temporary suspension, the "additional versions" and all of the questionable works debated by critics with often differing opinions throughout the 20th century. The end result is a consistent and stringent exhibition that sheds new light on the various stages in the development of Caravaggio's tortured artistic career - an exciting, crystal-clear display that distills and enhances the exceptional, indeed the unique, quality of his output.
The exhibition will include many of Caravaggio's most representative works, including theBacchus from Florence's Uffizi Gallery, the David With the Head of Goliath from the Borghese Gallery in Rome, the Musicians from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Lute Player from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Amor Vincit Omnia from the Staatliche Museum in Berlin, and numerous other masterpieces from many of the most important museums in Italy and around the world. The exhibition is designed in many ways to be a tribute to the unique quality of Caravaggio's work in this year in which celebrations are being held to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.
The exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale is set to offer the public a new and stimulating opportunity to penetrate the very essence of the "terribly natural" painter, his revolutionary and astonishing naturalistic criterion, and his stubborn if questioning deference to the depiction of reality which no pattern or school could contain, which was solitary in its poetic greatness.
The project, designed to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the great artist's death and enjoying the lofty patronage of the President of the Republic, has been developed under the aegis of the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale of the City of Rome.
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