December 12, 2019

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Beyond Caravaggio, now open at National Galleries of Scotland

Beyond Caravaggio, now open at National Galleries of Scotland

The bad boy of seventeenth-century Italian art, who revolutionized painting overnight: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was a radical and revolutionary artist whose work had a transformative impact on art in Italy and beyond during his lifetime and in the decades following his premature death.

He is one of the very few old masters painters who enjoy genuine, broad popular appeal today, remembered not only for his brilliance but also his challenging, argumentative and violent nature. Our image of Caravaggio’s work is inseparable from his tumultuous personal life; in 1606 he murdered a man after a quarrel over a game of tennis and spent the last four years of his life as a fugitive, producing his most profound and moving works during this time.

Beyond Caravaggio, already on show at the Scottish National Gallery, is the first exhibition of works by Caravaggio and his followers, the so-called Caravaggesque painters ever to be shown in Scotland.

Caravaggio’s dramatic lighting and compositions, and his radically new approach to subject matter exerted a huge influence on a host of contemporary artists from all over Europe, many of them painters of the very highest calibre, such as Gentileschi, Ribera, Valentin de Boulogne and Ter Brugghen.

Arranged thematically and centred on four major paintings by Caravaggio himself, the exhibition will feature an impressive range of works by his Italian, French and Dutch followers from British and Irish collections, public and private, including three pictures belonging to the Scottish National Gallery.

The exhibition has been organised in partnership with the National Gallery, London and the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

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