Museo e Bosco Reale di Capodimonte and Pio Monte della Misericordia, promote an exhibition, from April 12 to July 14, to deepen the knowledge on the neapolitan period of Caravaggio and his legacy to the partenopea city. It is produced and organized by the publisher Electa, and is curated by Maria Cristina Terzagui and Sylvain Bellenger (museum director). The exhibition display is developed by COR arquitectos with Flavia Chiavaroli, and the graphic design by Studio Sonnoli
Caravaggio lives in Naples for 18 months in total, divided into two periods: from October 1606 to June 1607, and later from fall of 1609 to his death in July 1610, in Porto Ercole, during his return travel to Rome. These were intense months, and fundamental in his life and in his artistic production. It remains, however, less known than his Rome period.
Merisi arrives in Naples running away from Rome, where he was involved in the murder of Ranuccio Tomassoni: wanted and condemned by the justice, he is tormented by feelings of guilt. His dramatic neapolitan production, with its distinctive moral tension, will be gathered at Capodimonte Museum, coming from various collections,.
The exhibition is divided in 6 stages that correspond to 6 themes of representations: The seven acts of mercy, The Flagellation of Christ, Salome with the head of John the Baptist, The crucifixion of Saint Andrew, Mary Magdalen in ecstasy and Saint John the Baptist, and The martyrdom of Saint Ursula.
The exhibition display is a tour through rooms designed to recall the insulᴂ of the neapolitan city, made of alleys, perspective framings, matter, and stratifications.
Settings that dialogue among themselves and where paintings are the only protagonists of a mise-en-scène that allows a more intimate contact with the works.
Roberto Longhi quotes a contemporaneous biographer of Caravaggio:
And when, in 1620, a biographer makes the following description of the studio, the atelier of Caravaggio: “ A light that comes from above with no reflections, in a room with black-coloured walls, areas of light and areas of shadow very light and very dark, lending depth to the painting, not in a natural way, however, neither made or thought in previous centuries nor by any more ancient painters.”.
Walking by the insulᴂ-rooms, through shades and penumbras, doors, windows, architrave, and dark passages, perspective framings and continuous references allow us to confront different works in different planes.
In the multimedia room, it is possible to explore more thoroughly the surface of the paintings using Google Art technological means, and watch a video made by Matteo Pedicini, that tells the 18-month-long stay of Caravaggio in Naples.