THE ART WHICH IS CARAVAGGIO

 

Caravaggio was born in Milan in 1571 and later fled to Caravaggio to escape the plague.  Known as a rebel and an anarchist, who refused to abide not only by the laws of the society in which he lived, but also the conventional, established rules of painting. Very little Is known about his life. He left no notebooks, letters or drawings, and he never did any preparatory drawings. All that remains of his life are his paintings.

 

Where can you find Caravaggio in Italy?

 

We can assist you with your own private tour with our experts or why not join and be part of a bigger tour. The best place to see him is in Rome, in 3 churches located fairly close together. We start off in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. Head to the Contarelli Chapel which contains a  cycle of paintings by Caravaggio in 1599–1600 about the life of St. Matthew. This includes the three world-renowned canvases of The Calling of St Matthew (on the left wall), The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (above the altar), and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (on the right wall). We then move onto Santa Maria Del Popolo. Among the beautiful artwork found in the church, it is worth highlighting the Chapel Cerasi, which houses two canvases by Caravaggio from 1600, and the Chapel Chigi, built and decorated by Raphael.  Here you will find the Conversion of St Paul (1601) and the Crucifixion of St Peter (1601), in a chapel to the left of the main altar – but it also contains other fine works, including several by Pinturicchio and Bernini. We now move onto the early Renaissance church of San Agostino. The first altar on the left inside contains Caravaggio's  Madonna del Loreto, where two peasants pay homage to a woman and her baby, the willowy, velvet-robed Virgin who's carrying Christ.

 

We head to Rome’s Galleria Borghese. The Borghese Gallery has a unique set, perhaps the best collection of Caravaggio’s works in just a museum, housing five more paintings of the master: the Young Sick Bacchus (a supposed self-portrait of the artist); the Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Dei Palafrenieri); the Saint Jerome Writing; the John the Baptist (also known as John in the Wilderness) and, last but not least, the David with the Head of Goliath, one of the most interesting work of his career: this painting, in fact, was realized in Naples, where the artist fled in 1606 after being accused of murder.

 

Then there is Palazzo Barberini. Here you will find Caravaggio’s  Judith Beheading Holofernes. The Entombment of Christ (1603-1604), painted for a chapel in Santa Maria in Vallicella, is now in the Vatican Museum (museivaticani.va) and there are two key paintings from the 1590s in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj (doriapamphilj.it/roma/en), Rest on the Flight into Egypt and Penitent Magdalene. Perhaps the greatest of all, however, is in Naples. Caravaggio’s The Flagellation of Christ  in the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte (museocapodimonte.beniculturali.it) where the drama of the composition, the intensity of the light, and the realism of the moment make this painting beautiful.

 

At the Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, you’ll find the dark, brooding painting of The Martyrdom of Saint Orseola, the last known painting he completed before his death. And in Pio Monte della Misericordia, located in Naple’s historical centre, there is the painting called The Seven Works of Mercy .

 

ALSO:

 

  • In the Uffizi Florence you will find Bacchus and Medusa

  • In the Pitti Palace, Portrait of Fra Antonio Martelli and Tooth Puller

  • In Milan in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Basket of Fruit

  • In Prato and the Cariprato Bank Crowning with Thorns

  • In the Palazzo Rosso in Genoa, Ecce Homo

  • In the church of San Pietro in Carpineto Romano, St Francis in prayer

  • In the Musei Capitolini, The Fortuneteller

  • In the Museo Regionale in Messina the Raising of Lazarus and the Adoration of the Shepherds

  • In the Bellomo palace Museum in Syracuse, Burial of St Lucy

  • In the church of San Lorenzo, Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence

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