12 January 2019'Utrecht – Caravaggio and Europe' - Centraal Museum, Utrecht
06 October 2018Teylers Museum, Haarlem - Leonardo da Vinci: “The Language of Faces”
26 November 2017The Arts Society The Hague tour of "Art Deco - Paris"
10 December 2016DFAS visit to Volkenkunde Museum for The World of Feathers
16 April 2016DFAS Tour of the Maya Exhibition at the Drents Museum in Assen
24 January 2016DFAS Tour of "Rome, Emperor and Constantine's Dream
12 December 2015DFAS Tour of "Asia in Amsterdam"
21 November 2015DFAS Tour to the Glasgow Boys at the Drents Museum in Assen
06 October 2015Season Opener at the Residence of the British Ambassador
05 October 2015Kasteel Duivenvoorde keeps its Winterlandscape
23 May 2015Tour of Kubota Kimonos in the Sieboldhuis
26 April 2015DFAS Tour of the Frick Collection in the Mauritshuis
23 March 2015 "Geisha" at the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, Leiden
13 December 2014DFAS Tour of Hermitage Amsterdam
23 November 2014DFAS Tour of Raoul Dufy, Singer Museum, Laren
30 October 2014Duivenvoorde by candle light
18 September 2014Season Opener for Hague DFAS Members

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'Utrecht – Caravaggio and Europe' - Centraal Museum, Utrecht
Saturday 12 January 2019

I do not know about you but every time I see a work by Caravaggio (well actually Michelangelo Merisi, because that was his real name) I am awe struck – what this artist introduced into early 17thcentury style of painting – his “chiaro/scuro” the dark-light effect, his dramatized gestures, his realism, his mysterious light, and the strong colours was a sensation and hit everyone, who saw his works like a bomb.

Even if we only saw two originals at this exhibition (one being the large altarpiece “Entombment of Christ”  the other “St. Jerome” and copies) some 400 years later -  it hit me and I am sure the rest of our group too!

From all over Europe artists flocked to Rome to witness these phenomena, between 1600-1630 no less than 2700 painters registered in the Eternal city of which 572 were foreigners.

And keep in mind no EasyJet in those days, the travel efforts and the dangers, especially in Rome, were tremendous.

This exhibition in Utrecht is an ode to the three Caravaggists from Utrecht: Gerard van Honthorst, Hendrick ter Brugghen and Dick van Baburen, all three travelled to Rome and stayed there for five years and introduced Caravaggio’s style of painting to the Dutch painters of their time – Rembrandt quickly saw the potential and copied/adapted it into his works.

Van Honthorst is presented with no less than 10 paintings and is probably the one whose style is the closest to the master. 

The other two, van Baburen en ter Brugghen have presented their themes in softer hues and at times missing the masterly touch as far as depicting the personage is concerned.

Caravaggio’s “Entombment of Christ” is considered one of his masterpieces, naturally his followers wanted to copy and create their own version, van Baburen painted his “Entombment” in Rome shortly after the creation of the original altarpiece and gave his own twist to the scene.  Ter Brugghen´s “The Incredulity of St Thomas” is a wonderful example of what may be considered an odd scene to witness.

 All three of them had their own interpretation and at this exhibition, where the works of all artists where grouped in themes, David and Goliath, Judith and Holofernes, The Entombment of Christ, the Crowning with Thorns, St. Sebastian etc. it was great to see and compare their styles and discuss the effects of small changes in their interpretations compared to the Master´s original work, shown to us on the iPad of our guide Anne, who did a very good job of challenging us with questions and made us observe even better.

Not only the three Utrecht painters interpreted and adapted Caravaggio’s style, so did painters from all over Europe, they too are presented at this exhibition, famous names like Gentileschi, Manfredi, De Ribera, Vouet, Régnier, de Boulogne etc.

Two very good works by Gentileschi caught my eye : “The Crowning with Thorns” and “Judith with Holofernes’ head” and so did Nicolas Régnier’s “St Sebastian”  and Valentin de Boulogne’s “Christ Driving the Merchants from the Temple” ( pls. see the attached images) 

Of course many more did, it is too lengthy to mention all– this exhibition of more than 70 works on loan from collections all over the world and many of great quality is on the list of best exhibitions 2018. And might be for the 2019 list too!

If you have not seen this exhibition go if you can; it is on until the 24thof March 2019 and certainly worth your while!