Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome at the Kimbell Art Museum

On Thursday, October 27th, members of the Texas/Mexico Chapter of ARLIS/NA were treated to a private tour of the exhibition “Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome” at the Kimbell Art Museum. Curator of European Art Nancy Edwards generously took time from her busy schedule to lead us through this amazing exhibition, which included ten works by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1571-1610) from collections around the world and hung with the work of his many followers from Italy and Northern Europe. The exhibition was arranged thematically beginning with profane subjects in the “Music and Youth” and “Cardsharps and Fortune Tellers” sections and moving toward sacred subjects with the “Saints” and “Sacred Narratives” galleries. Featured prominently in the exhibition were the Kimbell’s own Caravaggio, The Cardsharps, and perhaps Georges de la Tour’s magnum opus, The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs, two of the great masterpieces of this terrific Fort Worth museum.

Dr. Edwards took us through Louis Kahn’s beautifully designed galleries explaining the many innovations of Caravaggio’s paintings and the various ways his contemporaries responded to them. Going far beyond the ubiquitous legends surrounding the artist’s biography she explained the patronage and reception of his work by his Roman and international contemporaries. This tour and exhibition were truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see so much of Caravaggio’s small and seldom lent oeuvre in one venue and with the benefit of an informed and passionate curator sharing her vast knowledge.

submitted by by Eric M. Wolf