Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

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fountainhall
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#1 Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

Postby fountainhall » Tue May 01, 2018 4:28 pm

For those who admire Caravaggio's painting, there is an interesting exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (across from Discovery Centre - Siam BTS). More than 40 of Caravaggio's works are in the Exhibition from galleries including the Uffizi, Louvre, National Gallery and the Metropolitan in New York. One is the rarely seen "St. Matthew and the Angel" which is permanently displayed along with two other Caravaggios in a side-chapel of the French Church not far from the Piazza Navona in Rome.

The rub is that the works in the Exhibition are not originals. They are digitally captured, high resolution reproductions using the latest technology. The whole process was overseen by historians and art experts. So short of visiting all the Museums or travelling far to a city where you can see a rare Exhibition of originals, this Exhibition should be an extremely good second-best.

"Caravaggio Opera Omnia" is part of the Festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of diplomatic Relations between Italy and Thailand. It is now open and runs until June 10th.

http://en.bacc.or.th/event/1960.html

fountainhall
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#2 Re: Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

Postby fountainhall » Tue May 29, 2018 2:27 pm

Just a reminder for those interested that this Exhibition closes on June 10.

a447
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#3 Re: Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

Postby a447 » Tue May 29, 2018 3:18 pm

Damn!

You had me all excited there for a minute!

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Trongpai
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#4 Re: Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

Postby Trongpai » Wed May 30, 2018 5:24 pm

I went today and found the exhibition to be incredible. This process of duplication is really good. I've seen three Caravaggio originals in Rome, Milan and Berlin but you can't get close to any of them without setting off alarms. This rear lighted duplication process allows you to get up close and personal, see a lot of details and get drawn into the painting. It took my breath away.

I figured an hour or so would be enough but I really could have spent the whole day at the exhibition. There's three videos of continual running documentary/lectures and rather long placards for each painting explaining the history and interpretations of the work.

It's easy to get to and there's no admission fee. Take BTS to National Stadium/MBK and it's a very short walk.

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#5 Re: Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

Postby fountainhall » Wed May 30, 2018 7:39 pm

I am delighted you enjoyed the Exhibition. I will be going later in the week. I have seen a few more on my various travels, but that's partly perhaps because I have several times visited the small Contarelli Chapel in the French Church in Rome close by the Piazza Navona. This boasts three large Caravaggios which are rarely lent out for touring Exhibitions. But the Church is dark inside and they are not even lit. You have to pop in a € or two to get the lights on for a minute!

As Trongpai points out, getting close to any of his originals in Exhibitions is near impossible. Also, as in Rome's French Church, the lighting is almost always subdued. So I am really looking forward to it.

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#6 Re: Caravaggio Exhibition in Bangkok

Postby fountainhall » Thu May 31, 2018 6:24 pm

I visited the Exhibition this afternoon. I agree entirely with Trongpai's observations. This is an extraordinary collection of Caravaggio's works which it would cost a fortune to see if you were to check out each gallery where the originals are hung. I was surprised that each is the size of the originals with some being very large. Seeing so many in such a close environment it becomes obvious that the face of one youth appears in several of the paintings, even when the body is that of a young child. This was rumoured to be Caravaggio's lover. In his relatively short life - he died aged 36, he never married. Although the evidence that he was gay is only circumstantial, it is now generally assumed that he was.

There is a very interesting article in The Guardian from 2013 which discusses how Caravaggio used sex and lust to gain attention.

Caravaggio's sexuality is at the heart of his genius. His paintings are acts of defiance in an age when the wrong kind of love could get you executed. This fact has shaped perceptions of his art for centuries. He was virtually forgotten in the respectable Victorian age, when his florid young men were just too much for corseted psyches to take, then rediscovered in the 20th century.

A key figure in resurrecting Caravaggio from oblivion was the Italian art historian Roberto Longhi, whose university students included none other than the gay Marxist writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. The curly hair and lingering eyes of Caravaggio's painted youths haunt Pasolini's cinema – a beautiful angel in his film The Gospel According to Saint Matthew seems to have stepped straight out of a Caravaggio painting. His films helped to establish Caravaggio as a modern gay icon, a process completed in the 1980s by Derek Jarman's biopic Caravaggio and the Caravaggio-quoting photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe . . .

In my mind, it is the risk of Caravaggio's sexual passion for male flesh that gives his art its incomparable kick of reality; Caravaggio's paintings go way beyond "realism", the 19th-century art movement that tried to show the world as it truly is. A realistic painting merely looks convincing: Caravaggio's art effortlessly mimics appearances but hits us somewhere deeper, making the dramas he creates feel like actual events that fascinate or menace the onlooker as actual living people do.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesig ... than-jones

The general view seems to be that with the exception of Michelangelo, no other Italian painter exerted more influence on the history of art.

Please note that the venue closes on Monday. So there are 9 days left to visit the Exhibition.


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