Inauguration of the exhibition “The bronze patriarch of the Caravaggeschi. Battistello Caracciolo” at the museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte | Procope coffee | Museums, art and culture

The Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte presents in the Causa room the large monographic exhibition about Battistello Caracciolo, an artist (Naples, 1578-1635) who more than others embodied Caravaggio’s teachings, to the point of achieving the definition of “bronze patriarch of Caravaggeschi “By the art historian and critic Roberto Longhi. The exhibition, curated by Stefano Causa and Patrizia Piscitello, was born from the idea of ​​Sylvain Bellenger, director of the museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte, with the institutional collaboration of Mario Epifani, director of the Royal Palace. in Naples and Marta Ragozzino, Director of Campania Regional Museums. the museum and the Real Bosco di Capodimonte they are almost 80 works, many of which come from public institutions, Italian and foreign , church bodies and private collectors. At the Royal Palace it will be possible to visit the Sala del Gran Capitano fresco by Battistello Caracciolo, while at the Certosa and San Martino Museum the exhibition’s itinerary winds its way through the chapels of Assumption, San Gennaro, San Martino and the Church Choir, as well as in the dedicated premises. to Battistello in the gallery of the Quarto del Prior.

The Caracciolo exhibition is part of the program of exhibitions that the Museo and Real Bosco di Capodimonte pass on about Neapolitan and non-Neapolitan artists who have had a close relationship with Naples, even though they are fleeting, as in the case of Picasso and recently . , Jan Fabre or Santiago Calatrava, and who have seen their work influenced, pressured to express something else or sometimes take a new course, from the Neapolitan experience. After Luca Giordano, Vincenzo Gemito, Salvatore Emblema and now Battistello Caracciolo. These monographic exhibitions are often the first ever performed on these artists and contribute to a better identification, if not of the school, at least of the Neapolitan environment, a complex environment that can not only be understood by strictly philological exhibitions that often the complexity of a big city open to the world like Naples hides: the exchanges and the uniqueness of the humanities in the broadest sense of the term are here more relevant than traditional history and limited “scientific” exhibitions. Each exhibition is influenced by those who preceded it, for what its subject taught us, but also by the art of exhibiting, telling and about the receptivity of the public. In this case the exhibition Oltre Caravaggio. A new tale of painting in Naples, curated by Stefano Causa and Patrizia Piscitello, inaugurated on March 31, also influenced the exhibition on Battistello Caracciolo, suggesting the introduction of elements of comparison with sculpture or with paintings of different sensitivities, apparently in unlike the figure of Caracciolo, shaking genres and materials, without falling into the concept of the exhibition of civilization, allowed us to better understand the uniqueness of this painter, to change perspectives and give new readings to the rich and polyglot artistic dialogue in the powerful Viceroyalty Spanish , always shaken by the arrival of new talents from Florence, Spain or Rome, such as Caravaggio, artists like Ribera, Lanfranco, Pietro Bernini or Michelangelo Naccherino and their exhibited works, make the set-up a more visual celebration. relevant and richer, where the visitor is an accomplice who is invited to interact. Born in Naples in 1578, where he died in 1635, Giovan Battista Caracciolo known as Battistello is the first and greatest of the southern Caravaggesque painters. The painter was rediscovered with an article from 1915 in two sections in the magazine l’Arte by the young Roberto Longhi (1890-1970). The author and art historian of Piedmontese origin will never deny his passion for the painter, as he for his collection of Caravaggesque paintings managed to achieve a work like the powerful burial of Christ – exhibited here (Florence, Longhi Foundation). If Battistello was the closest Caravaggio (1571-1610) came to a student, it must be admitted that he was a very unfaithful Caravaggesque. Unlike the master, he draws, frescoes and engraves. Some of the most demanding works from Caracciolo’s last days, in the 1630s, are among the masterpieces of mural painting in southern Italy. Battistello was actually trained as a fresco between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century, and as a fresco he completed with the help of a workshop his journey in some of the great churches in town. The exhibition in the Causa room of the museum and the Real Bosco di Capodimonte includes about 80 works in dialogue between those already present in the museum and the others who have arrived here thanks to important loans from public, national and foreign collections, ecclesiastical collections and private collectors.

Among the public lenders we thank the Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts in Lausanne in Switzerland, the Cathedral Museum of Mdina in Malta, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the National Museum in Stockholm, the University of Turin, ABAP Superintendency for the city of Turin underground, the National Gallery in Marche – Palazzo Ducale in Urbino, National Galleries of Ancient Art – Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Corsini in Rome, Borghese Gallery in Rome, Museum of Palazzo Pretorio di Prato, Regional Gallery of Sicily – Palazzo Abatellis of Palermo, Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, ABAP Superintendent of the Provinces of Cremona, Lodi and Mantua, ABAP Superintendency of the City of Florence and the Provinces of Prato and Pistoia, Bargello Museums of Florence and Galleria degli Uffizi of Florence, ABAP Superintendency of the City of Reggio Calabria and Province of Vibo Valentia, ABAP Superintendency of Molise, Ministry of the Interni-Fondo Edific , and the Campania institutions such as the library and the monumental complex of Girolam ini in Naples, Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples, Regional Directorate of Campania Museums and Certosa and San Martino Museum in Naples, ABAP Supervision in Naples Municipality and ABAP Supervision of the Capital City of Naples, ABAP Supervision of Salerno and Avellino, Gaetano Filangieri Civic Museum of Naples, Correale Terranova Museum of Sorrento. Important contributions from the Giuseppe and Margaret De Vito Foundation for the History of Modern Art in Naples di Vaglia (Florence), from the Roberto Longhi Foundation for the History of Art History in Florence and from the Michele Gargiulo Collection. Fundamental to the exhibition are the loans from ecclesiastical bodies: the Collegiate Church of S. Maria di Ognissanti in Stilo (Reggio Calabria), the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Salerno), the Diocesan Museum of Cremona, the Church of San Michele Arcangelo di Baranello (Campobasso), the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta at the Cathedral of Naples, the Deputation of the Royal Chapel of San Gennaro’s Treasure in the Duomo, the Chapel of San Gennaro’s Treasure, the Archbishop’s Curia of Naples, the Church of Santa Maria of Constantinople, the Church of Santa Maria Incoronatella della Pietà dei Turchini, the Church of Gesù Vecchio, the Church of Santa Maria della Stella, owned by the Ministry of the Interior – Foundation Buildings of Worship, the Augustissima Archconfraternity and Hospitals of the SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini e Convalescenti, basilikaen Incoronata Madre del Buon Consiglio. We thank Nucleo Carabinieri for the protection of the cultural heritage of Naples and all the private collectors. An articulated way of understanding how and to what extent Battistello Caracciolo was influenced by Caravaggio, as can be understood in the words of De Dominici (1742-1745): “Now among those who were lured by such a new way, [di Caravaggio], one was our Caracciolo, and to such a sign he rejoiced that after leaving all the manners he followed for the first time, everything turned against this and absolutely suggested to continue … ‘but also to study in what if we went from it. Battistello Caracciolo is actually a Caravaggesque contrary to the trend: his drawings prove it, so clearly and quickly, closely associated with the execution of a painting. Michelangelo Merisi’s modus operandi, as we know it through the sources and works we have received, neglected, as is well known, the graphic exercise prior to the pictorial realization. Of fundamental importance for the understanding of the drawing’s role in Battistello’s work was the recognition of his hand in several drawings preserved at the National Museum in Stockholm. The sheets, some of which are on display, were brought to Sweden in the late seventeenth century by the architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger when he returned from his travels in Italy. And once again, De Dominici’s words support us in understanding the artist: ‘However, he was very diligent in our art, and he made several drawings of a thought, and what he then chose, he revised with drawings made from life from figure to figure, draw mostly with pencil or pen ‘. But let’s see in detail the exhibition path in Sala Causa at the museum and the Real Bosco di Capodimonte and then the works in situ, which are present at the Royal Palace in Naples and at the Certosa and at the San Martino Museum.

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