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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 12:43 AM

Painters of the Dark Side of Rome

Caravaggio’s revolutionary realist style of painting rapidly found followers and imitators among Rome’s community of painters, who flocked there from all over Europe to immerse themselves in Greco-Roman art, study the Italian Renaissance masters and seek commissions from the city’s wealthy ecclesiastical elite, local and foreign residents and visitors.

Most of Caravaggio’s works were religious in theme and only a few, such as “The Fortune Teller” and “The Card Sharps,” were genre paintings, but the eagerness with which his patrons acquired such canvases (Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte bought both these works) encouraged his contemporaries in Rome — and not only those painting in the new Caravaggesque manner — to depict the dark side of the Eternal City.

Caravaggio had a notoriously rackety lifestyle, which ultimately led in May 1606 to his fatal wounding of an opponent in a brawl, his flight from justice and his tragically early death in exile two years later. This kind of disorderly existence was by no means uncommon among Rome’s artists at the time and their experience of the city’s seamy side fueled a new artistic interest in poor and lowlife scenes and characters — as is vividly illustrated in “The Baroque Underworld: Vice and Destitution in Rome,” at the Villa Medici in Rome.

This exhibition of over 50 paintings, drawings and engravings, the first of its kind to examine the subject, is curated by Francesca Cappelletti and Annick Lemoine, and continues in Rome until Jan. 18, before traveling on to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris in February.


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Reply Painters of the Dark Side of Rome (Original post)
elleng Dec 2014 OP
cbayer Dec 2014 #1

Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:21 PM

1. Drat, I will miss it.

We plan to return to the hills outside rome this summer, but not until May.

Would love to see this.

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