WILLIAMSBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Visitors coming to the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary (wm.edu/muscarelle) will have a rare opportunity to view three famous paintings by (or attributed to) Caravaggio and take sides in an intense debate among the world’s leading authorities on Italian paintings.
“Caravaggio Connoisseurship: Saint Francis in Meditation and the Capitoline Fortune Teller” comes to the Muscarelle Museum of Art on Feb. 8 and will remain on view through April 6.
Two nearly identical versions of Caravaggio’s Saint Francis in Meditation have left experts divided. Despite years of debate, experts are in disagreement as to which one of these two beautiful paintings was created first -- and by whom. Which one is the original? Could they both be by the great Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio?
The two paintings on special loan from Rome’s Capuchin church and from the town of Carpineto Romano will be shown side by side, affording a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the audience to compare them. The exhibition will be completed by another of Caravaggio’s best-known compositions, the Fortune Teller, on loan from the Pinacoteca Capitoline in Rome. Although disputed by the experts until as recently as 1985, this painting is now recognized as a milestone in Caravaggio’s representation of daily life, not to mention a characteristic example of his style shortly after his arrival in Rome in the early 1590s.
“Caravaggio Connoisseurship: Saint Francis in Meditation and the Capitoline Fortune Teller” includes a didactic section in which explanatory texts and photographic enlargements present the cases for the differing points of view, equipping visitors to see the works with the eyes of a connoisseur and judge for themselves. An online poll will be set up in the gallery to register every visitor’s vote.
Caravaggio Connoisseurship: Saint Francis in Meditation and the Capitoline Fortune Teller will be on view at the Muscarelle Museum of Art Feb. 8-April 6, 2014. The museum is located at 603 Jamestown Rd. on the campus of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Call 757-221-2700 or visit www.wm.edu/muscarelle for hours and fees. The exhibition will be seen at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from April 12 – June 15, 2014.