Beyond Caravaggio – Exhibition at the National Gallery

Seeing this exhibition was not only recommended by my tutor as part of the A3 feedback but it was already on my todo list anyway after researching him during part three. I’ve left myself plenty of links to pick up on when I have more time (currently I’m behind in my plan for A4 so I want to revisit this afterwards). I didn’t want to repeat too much of the information I’ve already covered on Caravaggio.

The exhibition focus is on the spread of Caravaggism (the international artistic phenomenon which swept Europe where artists emulated the work of Caravaggio, his naturalism and dramatic lighting effects, chiaroscuro etc) so many of the artists are not well known, which didnt go down that well with the critics as there was not that many actual Caravaggio pieces.

It starts by looking at his early years in Rome where he painted The Cardsharps (this was not in the exhibition though, see my previous post) and Boy bitten by a Lizard (see below)His paintings of this period were considered highly original because of their naturalistic lighting and everyday subject matter of  youths, musicians, cardsharps and fortune tellers.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1571 - 1610 Boy bitten by a Lizard 1595-1600 Oil on canvas, 66 x 49.5 cm Bought with the aid of a contribution from the J. Paul Getty Jr Endowment Fund, 1986 NG6504 http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG6504
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1571 – 1610, Boy bitten by a Lizard, 1595-1600
Oil on canvas, 66 x 49.5 cm, Bought with the aid of a contribution from the J. Paul Getty Jr Endowment Fund, 1986, NG6504, http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG6504

Many of his followers not only emulated his style but also his subject matter. For example:

Antiveduto Gramatica Card Players, ca. 1615 Oil on canvas 34 3/10 × 45 7/10 in 87 × 116 cm © Historic England
Antiveduto Gramatica, Card Players, ca. 1615, Oil on canvas, 34 3/10 × 45 7/10 in
87 × 116 cm, © Historic England
Georges de La Tour The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs, 1630-1634 Oil on canvas 38 1/2 × 61 1/2 in 97.8 × 156.2 cm © Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Georges de La Tour, The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs, 1630-1634, Oil on canvas, 38 1/2 × 61 1/2 in
97.8 × 156.2 cm, © Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

 

 

TODO: finish write up.

 

References:

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/about-us/press-and-media/press-releases/beyond-caravaggio

 

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