The exhibition “Beyond Caravaggio. A new tale of painting in Naples" (from 31 March 2022 to 7 January 2023), by Stefano Causa, professor of History of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Naples" Suor Orsola Benincasa "and Patrizia Piscitello , Head of the Exhibition and Loan Office of the Museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte is spread over the 24 rooms on the second floor of the Museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte, directed by Sylvain Bellenger.
200 works on display, all from the museum's permanent collections, without external loans.
An exhibition, created in collaboration with the Amici di Capodimonte Ets and American Friends of Capodimonte associations, which aims to relaunch the debate by presenting another reading of the Neapolitan 1600s, which has become the century of Caravaggio for amateurs and historians.
The invention of the seventeenth century
The Neapolitan '600 is a recent' invention '. It was rediscovered and defined less than a century ago by the art historian Roberto Longhi (1890-1970). According to the scholar, Caravaggio's naturalism would be the backbone of Neapolitan art. The seventeenth-century studies on the South derive, almost without exception, from his proposals formulated in a series of essays that were essentially published in the second decade of the last century.
From the inauguration of the Capodimonte Art Gallery in 1957 until now, the exhibition of the Neapolitan paintings of the 1600s has been largely the result of this analysis. The reality is more complex and the curators of the exhibition, Stefano Causa and Patrizia Piscitello, on the basis of the studies of the last decades, propose to reconsider Longhi's scheme, now widely historicized, and to rethink the entire articulation of a century that was not alone that of Caravaggio, but above all that of Jusepe de Ribera, a Spaniard who arrived in Naples in 1616, six years after Caravaggio's death.
The “Oltre Caravaggio” exhibition brings Ribera, represented in the Capodimonte collections by sacred, mythological and still life works, at the center of the Neapolitan art scene.
Presenting the Neapolitan artistic civilization means highlighting the external contributions and exchanges with other centers, sending works and projects from outside, the residency in the city of 'foreign' artists. Naples, in fact, was and is a large port city, a crossroads of Italian life and culture. In the 17th century it had become one of the most populous megalopolises in the world, exerting a profound influence on European culture; its history is presented as a rich stratigraphy, made up of different civilizations, peoples and artistic expressions that have left traces in the artistic and monumental heritage. For centuries it has suffered attacks, invasions and destruction, facing numerous natural disasters: volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and plagues.