Beyond Caravaggio review: a masterpiece of surprise


It is easy to see from this deathly, sexy, unforgettable masterpiece, lent by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, why Caravaggio inspired so many followers. Like a savage Christ he accumulated wild disciples. This explosively brilliant and uniquely dangerous artist hit Rome like a thunderbolt at the end of the Renaissance, blowing away the saintly scenes of his soppy milquetoast contemporaries with hard-hitting visions of raw, dirty life. In the first two paintings in this exhibition we see him at the very start of his career, portraying male prostitutes with filthy fingernails tasting forbidden fruit and getting bitten.

The complete article

Jonathan Jones — The Guardian

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