Capitoline Museum pays tribute to one of the most important Italian art historians of the 20th century
The Capitoline Museum pays tribute to Roberto Longhi, one of the most fascinating personalities of the 20th century art world, with an exhibition that displays over 40 works that present Michelangelo Merisi and his “circle” through the perspective of one of the most revolutionary collectors and art historians of his time.
Longhi devoted his studies to Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, at a time when he was one of the lesser-known painters of Italian art. He began his studies on Caravaggio during university, demonstrating how he could immediately recognize the revolutionary significance of Merisi’s paintings.
Longhi was not only the most important Italian art historian of his century, but also a great collector. In his Florentine home, Villa Il Tasso, now the headquarters of the Foundation named after him, there a considerable number of works by the masters of different centuries. Among these, the most relevant and significant nucleus is undoubtedly the one that includes the works of Caravaggio and his followers.
Four tablets by Lorenzo Lotto and two paintings by Battista del Moro and Bartolomeo Passarotti open the exhibition path with the aim of representing the artistic climate of the Lombard and Venetian mannerism in which Caravaggio was formed. To follow, a room dedicated to Longhi and his foundation.
The exhibition continues with over 40 paintings by artists who were influenced by his figurative revolution during the 17th century. Among the great Caravaggism masterpieces there are also five paintings depicting the Apostles of the young Jusepe de Ribera and the Deposition of Christ by Battistello Caracciolo, who was one of the first Neapolitan followers of Caravaggio. The Denial of Peter is then the great masterpiece of Valentin de Boulogne, recently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre Museum in Paris, whose setting is a precise reference to the famous Vocation of San Matteo by Caravaggio in the San Luigi dei Francesi Church. Flemish and Dutch artists such as Gerrit van Honthorst, Dirck van Baburen and especially Matthias Stom are also present with important works.
In addition to Il Ragazzo morso da un ramarro, Il Ragazzo che monda un frutto is on display, an ancient copy by Caravaggio, which Longhi considered a “relic”.
Till May 2, 2021
Musei Capitolini – Palazzo Caffarelli
Piazza del Campidoglio, 1 (Venezia)
Daily 9.30am – 7.30pm
Entry fee €12 – 15*
*mandatory online booking