The response to our exclusive Caravaggio exhibition has been extremely gratifying. Everyone is fascinated to see the work of Caravaggio and his followers, and genuinely moved by the drama and psychological intensity of Caravaggio’s Ecce Homo. The other day, walking through the exhibition, I saw two friends in their 20s sitting in front of the painting, deep in thought. Clearly, as our Museum’s tag line states “art speaks.”
In 1951, Roberto Longhi, the great Italian art historian, brought Caravaggio to the world’s attention through a major exhibition in Milan, Italy. Bold, brash, dramatic, theatrical, perhaps even macho, Caravaggio’s style of painting had captivated a generation or more of artists during his lifetime and in 1951, he once again gained a new star-struck 20th century audience. In 1951, on this side of the Atlantic, the most famous living painter was a man named Jackson Pollock. His painting style can also be described as “bold, brash, dramatic, theatrical,” and, yes, perhaps even “macho.” Interestingly, for 60 years now, the stars of both artists have remained high in the sky of popular acclaim. But sadly too, the lives of both artists ended tragically. Caravaggio was only 38 when he died trying to return to Rome; Pollock was 44 when he crashed his car not far from home in Springs, New York.
Get to know Caravaggio this Saturday, November 12, at 2:00 pm during our Cunningham lecture. The young Italian scholar and art historian, Lorenzo Pericolo, will be speaking at CMA on Caravaggio’s powerful painting, the Ecce Homo. Like Roberto Longhi before him, Dr. Pericolo, believes that the face of Pontius Pilate is actually a highly caricaturized self-portrait of Caravaggio. Pericolo has found a number of fascinating reasons to support this argument. Please join us Saturday to learn more about Caravaggio and this fascinating and moving painting.
Also check out the recent press on our Caravaggio exhibition:
WOSU ArtZine (Tuesday 11/8/11): Was Caravaggio the greatest artist ever?
Columbus Dispatch (Sunday, 10/16/11): Work by Influential Italian Master to Make First Appearance Here.
Columbus Alive Preview: (10/20/11): Caravaggio: Behold the Man! The Impact of a Revolutionary Realist