The works of Caravaggio and his followers and contemporaries in early 17th-century Rome.
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Caravaggio was an unquestioned genius who eclipsed all other artists of his time. But just who were these fellow travellers? Bringing together 200 works from world collections, Caravaggio’s Rome is the first work to reconstruct the connective tissue of the Eternal City where the great genius lived and worked. In the vibrant years of the reassertion of Catholic Papacy after the Lutheran scare, celebrated in the Holy Year 1600, Rome became the cultural capital of Europe, drawing in thousands of artists from Italy (Caravaggio among them) and also from other great European nations: Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands. In the period 1595-1635, Rome was characterized by a creative ferment which may be considered to mark the beginning of truly European art. Yet to be studied in sufficient depth, the city at the time was a crucible in which artists of different backgrounds, cultures and tongues worked side by side exchanging techniques, stimuli, experiences, styles and iconographies. In the space of a few years, they swept away the late Mannerist stereotypes and ushered in the most extraordinary artistic rebirth ever witnessed in Rome. The results would be felt all over Europe throughout the seventieth century. The catalogue relates this poorly known story to a broad audience, rendering justice and visibility to talented artists who had the ‘misfortune’ of living in Rome in the early decades of the sixteen hundreds and have languished into modern times in the shadow of the incredibly popular Caravaggio.