Every­thing you need to know about Car­avag­gio

The Wharf - - Wharf -

Michae­lan­gelo Merisi da Car­avag­gio (1571-1610) is one of the most rev­o­lu­tion­ary fig­ures in art. His emo­tion­ally charged paint­ings, with their in­tense nat­u­ral­ism, dra­matic light­ing and pow­er­ful story telling in­flu­enced the way artists’ saw the world for cen­turies.

In fact, so wide­spread was his in­flu­ence that 70% of the paint­ings in the new ex­hi­bi­tion Be­yond Car­avag­gio at the Na­tional Gallery were, at one time or another, at­trib­uted to the man him­self.

Ev­ery­one thinks they know a Car­avag­gio. Many see him as the “can­dle­light painter” thanks to his dark can­vasses and bril­liant use of light­ing ef­fects. And yet he never painted a can­dle at all.

Here, cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion Le­tizia Treves talks through key paint­ings, ex­plor­ing how he de­vel­oped and trans­formed his fa­mous style.

She said: “He paints real peo­ple, he paints re­li­gious sub­jects but bring­ing them into his own time and this is the real fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence be­tween Car­avag­gio and his con­tem­po­raries.” Be­yond Car­avag­gio runs un­til Jan­uary 15 with £16 full price, na­tion­al­gallery.org.uk Im­ages cour­tesy of the Na­tional Gallery

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