In the art world, just like fashion, there are trends. But I think in fashion, the trends come and when they come back they are “retro.” But in art, sometimes things aren’t in vogue from the time they are created to four hundred years later. Well, Caravaggio is hot hot hot right now. And I have jumped, leaped and galloped onto the bandwagon. There are few contributing factors to Caravaggio’s recent renaissance.
July 18, 2010 was the 400th anniversary of his death. And Romans love anniversaries!
He only has about eighty paintings that are confirmed by him. And then there are all these other copies or originals that we just don’t know. Because Caravaggio worked on commission, he sometimes painted similar subjects multiple times, just in different sizes for different prices.
Sometimes one of the copies all of the is confirmed by art historians as a real Caravaggio and basically everyone freaks out. They even wrote a book about one, The Lost Painting which I highly recommend.
The real zinger though of my crush on Caravaggio is that it may be persuading me to study abroad in Rome and not Florence. Florence makes total sense for my love of the Medici and their artists (Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo) but the Counter Reformation is so dramatic! And Caravaggio and Counter Reformation makes sense to go to Rome. Plus from what I’ve heard, Rome, because it is more tourist-y, is more accommodating toward English speakers, while Florence it is a little do or die.