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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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Exhibition with Caravaggio's portrait of Pope who condemned him to death

2011-02-19

Eugenio Losardo
Director of the exhibition

“It was nearly impossible to see the painting even in the house where it was kept because it had not been restored for hundreds of years. The pigments were very rusty. The white had become yellow. We have restored the depth and novelty of this painting, which is almost a preview of the great Velazquez.”

In addition, the exhibition shows 70 unpublished documents and some paintings of Rome during the time of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

The exhibition marks the fourth centenary of his death and will continue until May 15th.  

It also shows documents with anecdotes, testimonies, protests, information and even rental agreements. The documents help reconstruct the times of the Lombard painter during his time in Rome.

Eugenio Losardo
Director of exposure

“You can see unpublished and published documents of the life of Caravaggio. They are very important because they rewrite part of his biography. You can see portraits of all the painters that he considered good and those he did not”.

The documents show that Caravaggio came to Rome when he was 25 years old, and not 20 as previously thought.

In preparing the exhibition, a group of historians, Art paleographers and archivists have searched more than 60 miles of shelves that make up the Italian State Archives.

It marked a difficult task because Caravaggio did not date or sign his works, which has made their classification difficult.

Thanks to the exhibition, visitors can learn more about the environment in which the great master of chiaroscuro lived during his time in Rome.

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