The National Gallery will be exploring the work of Caravaggio and his influence on the work of his contemporaries and followers in a brand new exhibition opening in October. 

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The Supper at Emmaus, 1601, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. (c) The National Gallery, London. 

Considered to be one of the most revolutionary figures in art, Caravaggio is known for his creation of extraordinary paintings, filled with dramatic lighting and using powerful storytelling skills, ensuring that his work had a lasting impact on European art.

This new exhibition,, which will also travel to Dublin and Edinburgh in 2017, will also offer visitors an opportunity to see a wide number of hidden treasures from around the British Isles.

The majority of the 49 paintings that will be on display as part of Beyond Caravaggio are loans from museums, stately homes and private collections from across the UK and will reveal how Caravaggio’s art came to inspire a whole generation of painters – despite him dying at an early age and didn’t travel extensively.

Beyond Caravaggio will begin by examining the artist’s early years in Rome, during which time he produced paintings that depicted youths, musicians, cardsharps and fortune tellers. It will then reveal how his first public commission was hugely successful, leading to many other commissions from patrons, such as Ciriaco Mattei for whom Caravaggio painted The Supper at Emmaus (1601, The National Gallery, London) and the recently rediscoveredThe Taking of Christ (1602, on indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St, Dublin).

But much of the focus of the exhibition will be on the way in which fellow artists didn’t try to replicate his style, but rather used it as a starting point, to respond to different aspects of his art and to create their own individual styles.

Curator Letizia Treves said:  “The National Gallery is fortunate enough to have three paintings by Caravaggio, each from a different phase of his career, but we are not normally able to show these works in context in our galleries. The inspiration for this exhibition came from wanting to display these paintings alongside others by Caravaggio’s followers, and to demonstrate the extraordinary breadth and range of his influence on a whole generation of painters.”

Beyond Caravaggio will be on display at the National Gallery from the 12th October until the 15th January 2017. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/beyond-caravaggio

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