Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da) St John the Baptist in the Wilderness, 1604-1605 - Oil on canvas 172.7 X 132.1 cm. - The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Photograph by Jamison Miller.


From June 17 to September 11, 2011 – National Gallery of Canada

Not since Michelangelo or Raphael has one artist in Europe affected so many of his contemporaries over such a broad geography and irrevocably changed the course of painting in Italy’s major cultural centre.
Presented exclusively in Canada at the National Gallery of Canada, this ambitious exhibition explores the profound impact of the work of Caravaggio on a wide range of painters of Italian, French, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish origin who resided in Rome either during his lifetime or immediately afterwards.
Approximately 60 paintings by some of the most important artists of the Baroque period will be included in this exhibition together with other major artists who were inspired by Caravaggio’s example.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) was one of the most intriguing and influential figures in Western art history. Overturning artistic conventions of the day, he created electrifyingly original paintings that were each imbued with a sense of drama – from great religious works to the stark reality of everyday life. His bold use of light and dark produced an exciting and dynamic style that proved irresistible to artists across Europe. It also changed forever the course of painting in Italy’s most important cultural centre.

Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome is a major international loan exhibition of approximately 60 works that brings the genius of Caravaggio to Canada for the first time and marks the 400th anniversary of his death. Showing exclusively in Canada at the National Gallery in Ottawa, this ambitious exhibition focuses on the period he spent in Rome and brings together scenes of life among the demi-monde, mythology and religion
It offers a rare opportunity to explore his unique style, provocative character, and his profound influence on some of the most significant European artists of the Baroque period including Simon Vouet, Peter Paul Rubens, and Orazio Gentileschi. These artists, known as “Caravaggisti”, not only copied his style but also emulated it, thereby creating a new language of artistic expression. Within the exhibition’s thematic display, Caravaggio’s compelling images are juxtaposed with those he inspired.

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