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Caravaggio masterpieces on display in new exhibition in Rome


Palazzo Barberini in Rome is opening a new exhibition displaying artistic masterpieces from the 17th century.

It is the second installment of a project launched by the museum at the beginning of 2019. The idea is to make great works of art more accessible and interesting to the public.

MICHELE DI MONTE
Exhibition curator

“These rooms contain one of the most significant and relevant nuclei of the national gallery's collection, which is 17th-century painting. If we want to indicate a focal point, obviously Caravaggio and Caravaggesque paintings stand out.”

There are three Caravaggio paintings on display, including “Judith Beheading Holofernes.” This work depicts the biblical episode in which Judith gruesomely murders the Assyrian general. The artist manages to capture the drama of a moment while prolonging it indefinitely.

Another work is “St. Francis in Meditation.” This is another quintessential example of Caravaggio's chiaroscuro technique, which plays with light and shadow to create powerful and realistic images new to his time.

Next to it is Gentileschi's “St. Francis and the Angel,” which at first glance, creates the impression that the saint is about to fall out of the painting.

There is also this unique work by Annibale Carracci and one of his students, Innocenzo Tacconi. It is a tabernacle with a number of panels depicting the Pietà, Sts. Cecilia and Ermenegildus, St. Michael, Guardian Angel, Christ and God the Father.

MAURIZIA CICCONI
Exhibition curator

“In our new exhibition, we have also decided to dedicate an entire room to a single work. We did this for various reasons. We wanted to create a different rhythm for the tour, to allow visitors to understand the explanation on a deeper level. We also wanted to deepen their appreciation for this work of art, which is extremely important to our museum.”

The exhibition doesn't end there. Other prominent works are Guercino's “Flagellation of Christ,” and his “Saul and David.”

There are also paintings by Bernardo Strozzi, Bartolomeo Manfredi, Simon Vouet, Guido Reni and Domenichino.

MICHELE DI MONTE
Exhibition curator

“Thus, the exhibition covers a broad enough range that we hope will be effective in guaranteeing visitors a more gratifying experience.”

This unique conglomeration of Baroque masterpieces is now open to the public. It is yet another reason to visit the Eternal City.

Claudia Torres