A Curator on Caravaggio (from Art Institute of Chicago)

It’s hard to find anyone these days who doesn’t love Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus, on loan to the Art Institute from the National Gallery, London, until January 31, 2010. Simply put, it’s got everything you could ask for from a painting by this hot-tempered maestro: dramatic contrasts of light and dark, an unrelentingly realistic portrayal of Christ and two disciples and an inn keeper, and exaggerated foreshortening that pulls the viewer into the picture. We can also assume that its original owner, Ciriaco Mattei—a nobleman with one of the greatest art collections in papal Rome at the turn of the seventeenth century—was similarly enchanted by it, since paid a princely sum for the picture in 1601, while at the same time providing Caravaggio with a studio in his grand palazzo… READ MORE

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