27 April 2010

St Matthew and the Angel

Wow, since getting back I don't seem to have had a minute to sit down (though in truth I have been sat rather a lot) nor managed to completely catch up amidst all the rearranged schedules. Thus, there has been something of a hiatus in posting. Before popping off to pray and sleep I thought I'd share with you a little discovery from Rome.

Now you are not to become jealous, but one of the highlights was going to the Caravaggio exhibition at the Scuderie, about which you can read more here. It was worth the two hour queue to get in, trust me. Not least is seeing his Angelus in the flesh (that's the oil on canvas, obviously, not the actual Virgin Mary and said Angel).

The more astute amongst us will, however, have noticed that the picture above is not from the master himself. Rather it is Guido Reni, St Matthew and the Angel, which is housed in the Vatican Museums. This was my discovery! It was painted in 1640, thirty years after Caravaggio's untimely death. Again, this was a two hour wait to get into a museum, or more accurately described as a series of museums. The frustrating thing was the long queue and the hope to see the Deposition of Christ by Caravaggio. Sadly, when eventually we managed to get into the papal picture gallery there was a small notice explaining the work was on loan to an exhibition at the Scuderie. Clearly it is THE exhibition of the decade!

What comes around goes around.

Oh, and on a technical point, we managed to get to see (over the course of our delay) 35 of Caravaggio's works. When you realise that there are only 50 known works accredited to him in the world, I think you'll agree we did rather well all things considered.

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