searching for caravaggiosearching for caravaggio – 1st entry
epilogue-3 – italy 2014

Sept-17 053AIn Ortigia, a neighborhood of Siracusa, we saw our first Caravaggio – Seppellimento di Santa Lucia – The Burial of St. Lucy.

And this began our search.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio supposedly painted 4 large images in Sicily – Burial of Saint Lucy, Syracuse; Raising of Lazarus and Adoration of the Shepherds, Messina; Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, Palermo. For centuries the Nativity was displayed in the Oratory of San Lorenzo, but on October 18, 1969 it was stolen from the church and has not been seen since. The most popular rumor suggests that it was taken by members of the local mafia.

We saw two more in Naples.

We saw the Sette Opere di Misericordia – the Seven Works of Mercy and La Flagellazione di Cristo – The Flagellation of Christ. The Flagellation is in the Museo di Capodimonte and the floor it’s on is being reorganized, but they opened it for 15 minutes so patrons could see the famous painting. We all made a bee-line to the last room on the floor. The painting is at the end of a long hallway in a dark room illuminated by Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro.

In Rome, we say five more.

We were walking back to the apartment and Sarah, who was reading the guide-book, discovered that we were in front of the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, and that it had Caravaggio’s triptych of St. Matthew: Vocazione di san Matteo – Calling of St. Matthew, L’ispirazione di san Matteo – The Inspiration of St. Matthew (the above image), and the Martirio di san Matteo – Martyrdom of St. Matthew.

The next day, we took the subway north to Piazza del Popolo and there in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo we saw the Conversione di san Paolo – Conversion on the Way to Damascus and the Crocifissione di san Pietro – Crucifixion of Saint Peter.