C is for Caravaggio
Caravaggio (1571-1610) is my all time favourite painter. His theatrical style, with its brilliant use of light, never fails to move me. His influence remains: many directors such as Martin Scorsese, cite Caravaggio as an influence on their work. Apart from being an amazing painter, he was a man that lead an exciting and passionate life. Thrown in jail numerous times for brawling, destroying property and general mayhem, he even had a death warrant issued by Pope Paul V and killed a man (perhaps by accident) in 1606. In Naples, an attempt was made on his life, though he survived but a few months later he was dead of a fever.
Last year I had the pleasure of viewing the most comprehensive Caravaggio exhibition at the Scuderia d’Quirinale in Rome of 25 of his works. It was an opportunity not to be missed as this many pictures by Caravaggio have never been exhibited together.
Only 80 works by Caravaggio survive. Rome is the place to see Caravaggio. The Cerasi Chapel, Contarelli Chapel, Galeria Borghese and the Vatican all have works by him. Other works are scattered throughout Europe.
23 April 2011