Caravaggio: The Final Years at The National Gallery
November 04, 2004 LONDON, ENGLAND.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Supper at Emmaus, 1601. National Gallery. Christ is shown at the moment of blessing the bread and revealing his true identity to the two disciples.
The National Gallery will feature Caravaggio: The Final Years from 23 February - 22 May 2005 at the Sainsbury Wing. Supported by the American Friends of the National Gallery as a result of a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson. Caravaggio (1571 - 1610) was at the height of his fame as the most original and powerful painter of his day, when in May 1606, he killed a man in a duel. With a capital sentence on his head, he was forced to flee Rome, never to return.
During the remaining four years of his life, Caravaggio's art underwent a dramatic transformation as he moved restlessly from Naples to Malta to Sicily. He continued to use intensely observed realism and dramatic lighting to endow his paintings with a compelling sense of actuality. However, the mood of the pictures became more introspective as he probed the human condition more acutely and with greater sympathy than ever before.
This exhibition will concentrate on this relatively little known period in Caravaggio's career. It will bring together paintings from the remote centres in which he worked so that his profound late style can be fully appreciated for the first time. The exhibition has been organized by the National Gallery and the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale di Napoli.