The Italian Almanac

Medusa by Caravaggio

Italian Art - October 9

A major new show exploring the impact of Caravaggio on other artists is gearing up for a sell-out run. Caravaggio e l'Europa (Caravaggio And Europe) opens to the general public on October 14 but Palazzo Reale, where it runs until February, has already received a record-breaking 64,000 advance bookings.

Subtitled The International Caravaggio School: From Caravaggio To Mattia Preti, the exhibit charts the adoption of the Italian artist's famous chiaroscuro techniques and his fascination with "real life" through works by a number of different artists. Although boasting around 200 paintings, only 16 will be by Caravaggio himself.

The show seeks to pay homage to numerous other artists who were working at the same time or immediately after, encouraging the public to identify Caravaggesque elements, while also appreciating each piece for its own artistic merit. "Many of those artists defined as 'Caravaggesque' had the misfortune of being unable to exist without him," remarked Vittorio Sgarbi, the show's curator and a former culture undersecretary.

The collection includes pieces by the Gentileschis, both father and daughter, the Spanish-born Jusepe de Ribera and Mattia Preti. This will also help set Caravaggio in his context, providing visitors with a more rounded vision of his work.