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Berwick St James Art Appreciation

1596-7. The Musical Concert, Caravaggio, oil on canvas, Metropolitan, New York 1596-7. The Musical Concert, Caravaggio, oil on canvas, Metropolitan, New York

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Thursday 23rd March 2023 at 7pm

No painter in the history of Western European art has divided critical opinion so much, or achieved the notoriety associated with Caravaggio. Such is his current standing and popularity, that any exhibition featuring his work is sure to be a sell-out. So, was he just a supremely gifted painter, or was he a genius, who had a eureka moment when he realised the potential of lenses and mirrors. It was the great Caravaggio scholar, Roberto Longhi, who wrote in 1920, people speak of Caravaggio, calling him a master of light and shadow, but what has been forgotten is that Ribera, Vermeer, Georges de la Tour and Rembrandt, could not have existed without him and the art of Delacroix, Courbet and Manet would have been utterly different. Tonight as we study and admire the majority of his most renowned works, we will attempt to unravel some of the mystique and pay homage to the unique originator of the Baroque.