La mostra di Caravaggio

The Caravaggio exhibition in Milan: X-ray masterpieces

Caravaggio under x-rays. Here’s what the new promises Caravaggio exhibition which opened its doors to Royal Palace of Milan with a mission: to pulverize every record. Not only for the public: the exhibition is already highly booked and the organizers have expanded and filed down every possible margin of the opening hours. No, the record he points to “Inside Caravaggio”Is more intimate and hidden: the new Milanese exhibition on Caravaggio is a full immersion in the heart of that Lombard who changed art forever. The twenty canvases on displaygathered in Milan for the first time, have been deeply explored thanks to “x-rays” And Scientific studies that aim to reveal how Michelangelo Merisi thought about his paintings before making them. Doubts, artist’s regrets, changes of scene and preparatory drawings: the Caravaggio exhibition reveals, through a complex and usable multimedia apparatus, the past, the prequel that lies under the veil of painting.

Caravaggio’s exhibition in Milan: Michelangelo’s doubts

The exhibition will be open until January 28, 2018 and the will of the organizers was to inaugurate it on the day of Michelangelo Merisi’s birthday, as if to re-establish a new starting point for studies on the painter. The exhibition, placed under the high patronage of President of the Republicis promoted and produced by Municipality of Milan-CulturePalazzo Reale e WorldExhibitionsSkira, in collaboration with the MIBACT Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. The Bracco group is partner of the exhibition for new diagnostic investigations. Main sponsor is Intesa Sanpaolo. The set-up is designed by the studio Cerri & Associati. The exhibition is curated by Rossella Vodret, assisted by a prestigious scientific committee chaired by Keith Christiansen. Milan has already hosted, in 67 years, two large exhibitions on Caravaggio: in 1951 the exhibition curated by Roberto Longhi he had the great merit of making the figure of the Lombard master emerge from oblivion and the neglect of criticism. Then in 2005 a new exhibition made it possible to better understand the weight of Caravaggio’s influence even beyond national borders.

The Caravaggio exhibition a Palazzo Reale in Milan has its roots in a series of diagnostic investigations conducted between 2009 and 2012 on works – then there were about 22 – kept in churches, museums and palaces in Rome. The project, promoted by National Committee for the celebrations of the fourth centenary of the painter’s death and the Supervision special for the artistic heritage of the City of Rome museum complex, together with Icr, the central institute for restoration, made technology break into research. Reflectographs And x-rays had already been experimented on canvases and frescoes by Giotto. Since then the die has been cast: this is how we investigate the third millennium to make the work become “three-dimensional” and truly understand what is “underneath” and what was “before” in the artist’s mind. In the meantime, dispelling one of the thousand myths about Merisi. And that is, that he did not draw her figures at all but painted them directly, drawing them between light and darkness. The analyzes have not shown that Caravaggio drew his figures in lead or dry, but that he often changed his mind.

The Caravaggio exhibition

The Caravaggio exhibition in Milan: the multimedia work

Each of the 20 canvases on display is presented first in its explosion of chiaroscuro and emotion, then on the back of the setting of each canvas, we move on todetail analysisthanks to large screens and videos which show, with focus and zoom, the most hidden details of the painting and its pictorial gestation. So it turns out that in the famous “Flight to Egypt”That white angel with very black wings, placed, in such a revolutionary way, in the center of the scene and from behind, first had to be in a more“ canonical ”and secluded position, to the right of the canvas. But only in this way did Caravaggio become brilliant: thinking and retracing his steps. In “Holy Family”Is not just the gaze of one Madonna almost frightened to conquer the scene, but also those fingers of hers, around the hips of Jesus, which Caravaggio painted afterwards as in a patchwork of white on white tones. Diagnostic investigations and new documentary researches have led to a review above all of the chronology of early works.

The Caravaggio exhibition

The Caravaggio exhibition: masterpieces from all over Italy

Between museums and the Italian collections who have lent their masterpieces include the National Galleries of Ancient Art of Rome-Palazzo Barberini And Corsini Gallery, with “Judith cutting off the head of Holofernes“(1601-1602 circa), among the guest stars, but only until 10 December, next to”St. John Baptist“(About 1604) and”Saint Francis in meditation“(1606). From the gallery Doria Pamphilj of Rome arrive “Rest during the flight into Egypt” (1597) and “Penitent Magdalene“(1597); the Capitoline Museums participate with that canvas of the Buona Ventura (about 1597-1598) which, by x-rays, shows how by rotating the picture by 90 degrees, a preparatory drawing of a Madonna appears, perhaps by Caravaggio himself who, to portray that “Egyptian” gypsy woman, he had brought a street fortune teller into his study. Among the other most famous paintings is the “Boy bitten by a green lizard “ (1597-1598) while the “Sacrifice of Isaac“(1603). From Vicenza here is the “Coronation with thorns“(About 1604-1605); from the Ala Ponzone Civic Museum in Cremona here is “St. Francis in meditation “ (post 1604). And then there Basilica of Sant’Agostino of Rome granted the “Madonna of the pilgrims “ (1604-1605); while the “Flagellation of Christ” (1607) arrives from Naples. In the “Portrait of a knight of Malta”(1607-1608) that comes from Palazzo Pitti, the hilt of the sword appears modified and so perhaps the solemnity of the pose would have changed forever. Finally the Galleries of Italy – Palazzo Zevallos Stiglianofor the Intesa Sanpaolo Collection, have granted, for about a month, until November 27, the “Martyrdom of St. Ursula“(1610).

The Caravaggio exhibition

The Caravaggio exhibition: unpublished from abroad

But it is above all the heritage that comes from abroad that is a real novelty for the Caravaggio exhibition in Milan. The “American” painter reconquers Italy with some canvases from Kansas City And Detroit (Marta and Maddalena) and with the “St. Francis in ecstasy“(1598-1599) from Wadsworth Atheneum of Art in Hartford. From the Met from New York the “Holy Family with San Giovannino” (1602-1604) could not be missing. In the Milan exhibition on Caravaggio it is not only Merisi’s art that has been “x-rayed”, but his entire life. So in support of his paintings here is a corpus of manuscripts and archival documents who tell the more turbulent chapters of the short but troubled biography. He did not pay the rent and here is the denunciation of his tenant complete with an inventory of his possessions, written in black and white in a cursive handwriting, almost as precise and ineluctable as was his brief destiny. They stole his cloak and the thief in admitting the theft also confesses what kind that Merisi was. “He does not devote himself to studying assiduously: when he has worked 15 days he gives himself to good weather for a month”. The material comes fromState Archives of Rome and Siena and contributes to deepen the figure of one of the greatest painters in the world, Lombard by birth, son of the world by vocation.

The Caravaggio exhibition: timetables and info

There show it is open on Mondays from 2.30pm to 10.30pm. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays from 9.30 to 20. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9.30 to 22.30 with last admission one hour before closing. Mondays from 8.30 to 14.30 are reserved for schools. An early closure is expected at 8 pm on 29 September, 16 and 23 October. The price of the tickets (audio guide included): Full price: € 13. Infoline and presales tel. 02/92800375; Online information:

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