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Longhi-ing for Caravaggio

May 25, 2015
De Giotto à Caravage: Les passions de Roberto Longhi

Today the works of late C.16th artist Caravaggio are considered to be among the most exceptional and influential in the world, hung in the Uffizi alongside other Italian greats such as Botticelli, da Vinci and Michelangelo. But if it weren’t for one widely unknown critic it’s unlikely the world would ever have rediscovered the paintings of this Baroque master – a fascinating tale that now forms the basis of De Giotto à Caravage: Les passions de Roberto Longhi, currently on show at Paris’s Musée Jacquemart-André.

By the C.20th, the short-lived Caravaggio had fallen into obscurity, his reputation slandered and his best works attributed to other artists. Then along came Roberto Longhi, an art historian who spotted the Milan-born painter’s singular talent and indisputable impact on later luminaries like Ribera, Vermeer, and Rembrandt. Singlehandedly, Longhi reinstated Caravaggio’s eminence and now his good deed is getting its own deserved recognition though this explorative exhibition.

Of course, the showcase highlights a number of Caravaggio’s paintings – including Boy Bitten by a Lizard and The Sleeping Cupid – displayed with works that mimicked his distinctive approach and Longhi’s own technical and thematic insights on each piece. Also represented are classical biblical scenes and religious iconography by Giotto, Masolino, and Masaccio – three primitive masters who Longhi also passionately championed. Squisito!

Until 20 Jul, 2015.

Musée Jacquemart-André / 158 blvd Haussmann, 8th / +33 1 45 62 11 59 / 10am-6pm Tue-Fri & Sun, till 8.30pm Sat & Mon /

Image: Matthias Stomer, The Archangel Raphael and Tobit’s Family © Firenze, Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi