New Caravaggio exhibition and new theory about his mysterious death
April 4, 2012 1 Comment
The M.A.F. Museum and the Augustin Museum in Toulouse present the exhibition “Bodies and shadows Caravaggio and European Caravaggism” June 22 – October 14, 2012. In Montpellier, this exhibition presents authentic works by Caravaggio to show the artist’s international influence, starting with his first followers and friends. Manfredi, Gentileschi (father and daughter), and Saraceni all propagated the new iconography, along with his dramatic use of light and the realism of his models. The major French painters Vouet, Valentin Boulogne and Tournier in Rome from 1620 were all strongly influenced by this highly innovative style. When FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange) announces this new exhibition, a new theory about his death is released.
His mysterious death has been blamed variously on intestinal infection, malaria, lead poisoning from the oil paints or a violent brawl. Now an intriguing new theory has been put forward for the demise of the rabble-rousing Renaissance artist Caravaggio – that he was killed in cold blood on the orders of the Knights of Malta to avenge an attack on one of their members. The chivalric order hunted down the painter because he had seriously wounded a knight during a fight, according to Vincenzo Pacelli, an Italian historian and expert on Caravaggio. The death of Caravaggio has long been shrouded in mystery. Some historians believe that he died of malaria in the Tuscan coastal town of Porto Ercole in 1610 and that he was buried there. But Prof Pacelli, of the University of Naples, has unearthed documents from the Vatican Secret Archives and from archives in Rome which suggest that the artist was instead murdered by the Knights of Malta, who then threw his body in the sea at Palo, near Civitavecchia north of Rome.