Baroque by Caravaggio at the Capodimonte Museum
I borrow bodies and objects. I paint them to remind myself of the magic of the balance that governs the entire universe. In this magic, my soul reverberates to the one sound that leads me to God.
In these words, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio described his approach to painting, the source of inspiration for his unique, recognizable and unparalleled style. He was a master at humanizing his subject, overturning any common iconography, allowing the viewer to truly “experience” an image. Some say he predated photography with his outstanding ability to highlight darkness, alternating light and shadow in a duality that he somewhat reflected even in his impulsive personality and unconventional lifestyle.
On 12 April 2019, the Capodimonte Museum will open an exhibition of his most famous works, painted during two separate stays in the Campania city between 1606 and 1610; at the time, he grew close to the Neapolitan school and gave huge impulse to naturalism and to the baroque style that would take over Europe in the 17th century. Curated by Sylvain Bellenger and Cristina Terzaghi, “Caravaggio Napoli” aims to analyze this cultural and artistic legacy of his.
The exhibition will showcase for the first time the two “Flagellations” he painted between 1607 and 1610, as well as “The Seven Acts of Mercy” with its clear references to people of Naples. On loan from other museums, there will also be “The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula” (from Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano), “Saint John the Baptist” (from Rome’s Galleria Borghese di Roma), “Salome with the Head of John the Baptist”(from London’s National Gallery) and the other “Salome” from Madrid’s Palacio Real. Caravaggio’s works will be compared to 19 paintings from the Neapolitan school of painting, proving the extraordinary influence the talent and works of this master had on other artists.