Saints and Sinners: Caravaggio and the Baroque Image

Museum To Exhibit Master's Paintings

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

The work of Baroque master artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio will be featured in the McMullen Museum of Art's next exhibition, "Saints and Sinners: Caravaggio and the Baroque Image," which opens on Feb. 1.

The exhibition, which includes the recently re-discovered Caravaggio masterpiece "The Taking of Christ" in its sole North American appearance, runs through May 24. A series of concerts, films and lectures exploring the arts and religion of Renaissance Italy will complement the exhibition.

Boston College faculty, staff, students, alumni and their families are invited to preview the exhibition at the museum on Sunday, Jan. 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

"Saints and Sinners" explores the style, subject matter and social function of Catholic religious art in Italy during the Baroque period from 1580 to 1680, with emphasis on artistic views of good and evil, light and darkness, and sanctity and sin. Thirty paintings on display from public and private collections include works by Baroque artists Guido Reni, Domenichino, Ludovico Carracci and Pietro da Cortona, as well as Caravaggio.

The show's centerpiece work, "The Taking of Christ," depicting Jesus' betrayal by Judas Iscariot, was painted in Rome in 1602 by Caravaggio. For 200 years it had been believed lost, but the painting was discovered nine years ago in a Jesuit residence in Dublin, Ireland.

"This exhibition is something really important for North America," said McMullen Museum Director Nancy Netzer. "Boston College is happy to be able to share this with the continent."

An accompanying catalogue edited by Asst. Prof. Franco Mormando, SJ (Romance Languages), contains essays by the curators of the exhibition. The catalogue is available at the Boston College Bookstore.

The special events complementing the Caravaggio exhibition begin this Sunday, Jan. 24, with a performance of Italian Baroque keyboard music by harpsichordist Peter Watchorn at 8 p.m. in St. Mary's Chapel.

A film series, "Go for Baroque," introduced by Prof. John Michalczyck (Fine Arts) and other faculty, gets underway on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. with "Caravaggio" (1986), directed by Derek Jarmon. Upcoming films, including Milos Forman's Academy Award-winning "Amadeus," will be shown on Thursday nights over four weeks. Call ext.2-8587 for titles and locations.

Gallery talks scheduled include "Judas Iscariot and the Kiss of Betrayal in Italian and Christian Tradition" by Fr. Mormando on Feb. 17 at 12:30 p.m., and "Freedom to Imagine: Artistic Representation in Post-Tridentine Italy" by Assoc. Prof. Laurie Shepard (Romance Languages) on Feb. 25 at 12:30 p.m.

A day-long symposium, "Religious Culture in Caravaggio's Italy," will draw art historians from across the country to Devlin 008 on March 20. Organized by curators Bailey and Jones in conjunction with the New England Renaissance Conference, the symposium will feature a keynote address by Cambridge University Professor of cultural history Peter Burke.

The Lowell Lecture Humanities Series will bring Princeton University history Prof. Theodore K. Rabb to campus on March 25 to present "Rome in the Age of Caravaggio," at 7:30 p.m. in Devlin 101.

The museum offers gallery tours on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. Free group tours may be arranged upon request by calling ext.2-8587.

Return to Jan. 21 menu

Return to Chronicle home page