Sunday, 18 July 2010

Rome Celebrates Caravaggio

July 18, 2010 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). To honour the Baroque artist, the Borghese Gallery offered free admission starting Saturday July 17th at 7:00 p.m. and through the night until 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The current Borghese Gallery collection includes five Caravaggio Masterpieces: Boy with a Basket of Fruit (1593), David with the Head of Goliath (1610), Madonna dei Palafrenieri (1605), Saint John the Baptist (1610), Saint Jerome (1605), and Self Portrait as Bacchus (1594). Another four works will be on display for the event, including Narcissus (1597), Judith Beheading Holofernes (1598), Saint John the Baptist (1603) and Saint John the Baptist (1602).

Three churches that house Caravaggio paintings were also open all night, including the Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo, the Basilica Di Sant’Agostino and the San Luigi dei Francesi church.

I went to see the exhibit at the Borghese Gallery at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night. There were hundreds of people in line and at least a three hour wait. To avoid the long wait, I left and went back at 3:30 a.m. I still ended up waiting in line for over an hour but it was well worth the wait.

In addition to the viewing the spectacular Caravaggio paintings on display, visitors were able to walk around the first floor of the Gallery and enjoy a number of other works by famous artists like Canova, Bernini and Raphael, among others.

In Rome, there seems to be an infinite number of things to see and do. The Borghese Gallery should definitely not be missed. Remember to book ahead (see below).

Further information about Caravaggio

Further information about the Borghese Gallery

Borghese Gallery Ticket Information


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