Italy loans Caravaggio masterpieces for Pudong museum

Wang Jie
'Caravaggio. Wonders of the Italian Baroque,' the first Caravaggio-themed show in China, is at the Museum of Art Pudong, featuring Caravaggio treasures and other Baroque artists.
Wang Jie
Italy loans Caravaggio masterpieces for Pudong museum

"Boy with Basket of Fruit," Caravaggio, 1595, oil on canvas, ©Galleria Borghese, Rome

Merely the name of Caravaggio (1571-1610) stirs the senses of local art lovers.

Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, was one of the most revolutionary painters in the history of Western art. He is widely considered the last master from the Renaissance period and the pioneer who triggered the beginning of Baroque period.

"Caravaggio. Wonders of the Italian Baroque," the first Caravaggio-themed exhibition in China, is showing at the Museum of Art Pudong through April of next year.

Produced by Shanghai Liujiazui Development (Group) Company Ltd, the exhibition also marks the first collaboration between MAP and Galleria Borghese in Rome, which boasts the largest collection of Caravaggio's works in a single collection.

With over 60 authentic works on view, among which six are iconic masterpieces by Caravaggio and others by more than 40 other Baroque artists, the exhibition presents a holistic picture of Baroque art.

"The exhibition is a celebration of Baroque pictorial art in all its forms," said Francesco D'Arelli, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai. "It showcases a perpetual dialogue between the past and the present, and between the different artistic personalities that characterized that era. The aim is to express the artistic trepidation that was prevalent during that period, full of continuous inspiration, against a backdrop of great change in history.

"We're very glad to present this exhibition at the Museum of Art Pudong and very grateful to MAP for this great opportunity to introduce art from Italy to the Chinese audience through the presentation of the collection of Galleria Borghese," he said

Italy loans Caravaggio masterpieces for Pudong museum

"The Crowning with Thorns" by Caravaggio, 1603, oil on canvas,© Banco Popolare di Vicenza Collection, Prato

Baroque is a style that developed in the 17th century, an era of astronomical discoveries, absolute rulers, and the Counter-Reformation. The term baroque derives from the Portuguese word barroco and the Spanish word barrueco, indicating an irregular pearl, not perfectly round.

Baroque first appeared in the field of architecture – architects began to go beyond the fixed patterns of classical order, imbuing architecture with a strong sense of ornamentation and exuberance. Later Baroque prevailed in art and music.

His "Boy with Basket of Fruit," one of Italy's most precious art treasures, is the highlight of the exhibition.

One of Caravaggio's earlier works, the painting shows a young man, in a three-quarter pose, holding a basket full of autumn leaves and fruits, such as apples and bunches of grapes. In this work, light takes the leading role, seeping in from behind the boy and reflecting off the basket, revealing its contents with all their irregularities and imperfections.

Exhibit Info

Date: Through April 14, 2024, 10am-9pm

Venue: Museum of Art Pudong

Address: 2777 Binjiang Ave

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