ROME – Unpublished documents, such as the one, precious, confirming his arrival in Rome when 25 years old, instead of 20 (thereby upsetting his biography), anecdotes, reconstructions, but also those of his contemporaries and his masterpieces: Caravaggio returns to the centre of a major exhibition from 11 February to St Ivo alla Sapienza, site of the State Archives. Entitled Caravaggio in Rome. A Life from Reality the major exhibition will re-propose until May 15 the original materials which have been restored for the celebration of the fourth centenary of the death of Caravaggio. Conceived and directed by Eugenio Lo Sardo, and the exhibition is curated by Orietta Verdi and Michele Di Sivo and it’ set up as a kind of detective story, like a field survey which shows the life lived by the Lombard artist through his words, his meetings, his numerous reports, some unknown or controversial episodes that occurred during his stay in Rome (1595-’96-1606).
Thanks to the discoveries made by a group of seven young researchers, including historians, palaeographers and archivists more than 30 books were saved from decay and restored and researches have produces news of extreme importance, such as to re-write the biography of Caravaggio . In the festival original documents will be shown unedited attesting to his arrival in the Eternal city at 25 (rather than twenty as previously thought and then reopening the debate on its previous and still unknown production) and its settling in the workshop of a Sicilian painter, Lorenzo Carli, who lived with his wife and children in via della Scrofa.
In the series of anecdotes, testimonials, reconstructions from registries, protocols, plans of the original sites, reports, processes, complaints, rental agreements, it will be possible to trace the Rome of Caravaggio, to live it in a direct comparison between texts and images, additional in the reconstruction of the past. They will be joined by paintings by artists (friends, enemies, teachers and pupils) and works by him or attributed to Caravaggio. Among the works is the Portrait of Beatrice Cenci by Guido Reni, Sacred and Profane Love and Ecce Homo by Giovanni Baglione, a jug of flowers by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Portrait of Pope Paul V Borghese and David with the Head of Goliath Caravaggio, the Flask with beautiful flowers of Forli ‘, the Ecstasy of St. Francis by Giovanni Baglione.