After seeing the Caravaggio and His Times Exhibit in Rome last week I did some rough-ish drawings of some of his paintings in conte crayon. The man certainly could draw very well in the manner of his day. That did not make him unusual as an artist for that time. Rather it was his perfecting the dramatic use of lighting in his paintings.
Michelangelo Merisi (Michele Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio 1571 – 1610) is commonly known as Caravaggio. He is the subject of an exhibition at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Il tempo di Caravaggio (Caravaggio’s Time) that displays items from the collection of Roberto Longhi. Longhi was a Professor of Art History at the University of Bologna and later at the University of Florence. His 1911 dissertation was about Caravaggio. His exhibitions on the painter in the 1950’s spurned interest in Caravaggio, who had been largely forgotten.
Here I will show you examples of the work of Caravaggio and other artists featured in the exposition. Photos were not allowed so I had to use photos I found in the public domain. I did not note the names of the paintings so I used examples that show affinity to Caravaggio.
Otavo Leoni (1578-1630)
Caravaggio is a master of light. He did not invent the approach but he did it with great skill, igniting an international following. Here is a good example of his approach, allowing a good comparison to the paintings of his followers that follow below.
Battista de Moro (1512 – after 1568) is one of few painters, perhaps the only in the exhibition, who came before Caravaggio.
Bartolomeo Passrotti (1529–1592) worked primarily in his hometown of Bologna.
Pier Francisco Mazzucchelli 1573–1626
Angelo Caroselli or Carosèlli (1585–1652)
Domenico Fetti (c 1589-1623)
Valentin de Boulogne (c 1591 – 1632) French
Gerrit Van Honthorst
Gioacchino Assereto (1600-1649)
Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (1598–1669)
Dirck Van Baburen Dirck Jaspersz. van Baburen (c. 1595 – 21 February 1624), Dutch and one of the group called the Utrecht Caravaggisti.
Matthias Stom or Matthias Stomer (c. 1600 – c 1653) was Dutch or Flemish. He was influenced by the Utrecht Caravaggiasts.
... The Times of Caravaggio opens with four small panels by Venetian Lorenzo Lotto who inspired Caravaggio’s interest in bright light, and Bolognese Bartolomeo Passarotti’s canvas of a market scene, which possibly triggered his obsession for still lifes and portraits of “low-class” people. Of particular interest in this first of five rooms is Longhi’s canvas, A Boy Peeling Fruit. There are three other copies of this early work all dating to 1592-93, all believed by many scholars including Longhi, who included it in the 1951 exhibition, to be Caravaggio’s earliest work painted upon his arrival in Rome. …Longhi also suggested that Caravaggio borrowed the motif of the bitten finger from a Boy Bitten by a Crab, a drawing by a prominent Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anuissola. As for the model, some scholars suggest Mario Minniti, Caravaggio’s companion and the model for several other Caravaggio paintings. Others believe it is a disguised self-portrait.