By Luis Lidón / Vienna / The baroque movement revolutionized art in the 17th Century, filling faces with expressiveness and contorting bodies.
Two of its great masters, the painter Caravaggio and sculptor Bernini, will star in an exhibition in Vienna that explores how they changed their own perceptions of human beings.
The exhibition Caravaggio and Bernini the Discovery of Feelings at the Kunsthistorisches Museum will bring together the two great stars of the baroque period, according to the director of the art gallery Sabine Haag.
It will include more than 70 pieces of art produced in Rome, including 10 paintings by Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio, and 15 by sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The show will explore how in the first half of the 17th Century both artists abandoned the ideal Renaissance canons to create more realistic works, in which drama, vitality and expressiveness were the important values.
One of the exhibition’s curators Stefan Weppelmann said that baroque focused on emotions and that Caravaggio placed holy saints on earth and humanized them.
The movement generated an “enormous fascination” in its time and attracted artists from all over Europe to Rome, he added.
Another curator of the exhibition Gudrun Swoboda described Caravaggio as the inventor of a new pictorial technique exploring the expressiveness of the human body, with graphic, bloody injuries and the expression of human suffering.
He changed painting with chiaroscuro, the treatment of light and shade, and used prostitutes as models for some of his virgins and beggars for his mythological and biblical figures.
Caravaggio led a hectic life with fights and lovers, he was forced to flee from Rome after killing one of his opponents in a duel.
Bernini led a more conventional life, although he was equally revolutionary as an artist and left a legacy of sculptures and statues that have left a deep mark on Rome.
Without Caravaggio or Bernini, art history would have been very different.
They were two of the most influential artists of their time and shook up with almost everything that had been established until then.
There was an intense emotion in their works, including a realism and psychological depth through great biblical and mythological themes which were common features in both.
Some of the most outstanding pieces in the exhibition are Caravaggio’s masterpieces, such as David with the Head of Goliath, the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, Narcissus and Boy Bitten by a Lizard.
It will also include Bernini’s Medusa, Saint Sebastian and a miniature of his Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.
A number of pieces will be brought together thanks to international loans, with some works never displayed to the public before.
One of these loans will be the work Mary Magdalene by another great 17th Century artist Artemisia Gentileschi.
The enigmatic painter was the first woman to be admitted to the Academy of Arts in Florence.
She was ahead of her time, led an independent life and achieved great recognition in her time.
In the painting she offers a personal and remote vision of the cliches on Magdalene’s conversion to Christianity.
The exhibition will also include works from private collections and museums, including the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Vatican Gallery.
It will take place from 15 October to 19 January. (October 14, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
News related in video: