Rome: A new exhibit celebrates Caravaggio

Caravaggio's Amor Vincit Omnia, on loan from the Staatliche Museum in Berlin

Four hundred years after the artist's death, the much-anticipated Caravaggio exhibit will be open at the Scuderie del Quirinale from February 20 through June 13. Michelangelo da Merisi, dubbed Caravaggio, painted canvases for cardinals, popes, and nobles in the late 16th and early 17th centuries—when he wasn't getting into brawls or fleeing from one Italian city to the next.

Caravaggio mastered the dramatic use of chiaroscuro (contrast of highlight and shadow). Others, including Raphael, had toyed with the use of light and dark in art before, but none achieved the realism and emotion that Caravaggio would with his subjects.

The Quirinal brings together works of art from museums and public and private collections around the world. Look for Bacchus (Uffizi, Florence), David With the Head of Goliath (Galleria Borghese, Rome) and The Lute Player (Hermitage, St Petersburg). Expect big crowds during the first months and, if possible, avoid visiting on a weekend. For advance ticket bookings, visit

Check back throughout the year for updates on other blockbuster openings in Rome.

Scuderie del Quirinale, via XXIV Maggio, 16; Sunday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-10:30pm; €10/$14. Transport: Bus # 16, 170, 36, 360, 40, 60, 61, 62, 64, 70, H; Metro A to Repubblica or Metro B to Cavour.


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