Caravaggio Walking Tour. Life and Work of a Genius

In the footsteps of Caravaggio in Rome, one of the greatest painters of the Baroque Age!

During the walking tour we will experience some of the most beautiful churches in Rome to visit Caravaggio paintings; I am only talking about those that can be visited in situ in Rome, rather than those available in museums like the Borghese. While museum lighting and display is great for close study of paintings, nothing beats seeing these works in their original location, as the artist intended, and as the Romans have seen them for centuries.

There paintings were meant to stand their own in a chapel lit only by candles, so feel free to skip paying for lighting, and take the time for your eyes to adjust and your brain to take in their dramatic effect. This tour presents a very unique opportunity to visit also the places where he lived during his stay in the Eternal City and the part of Rome that he loved most. WHEN Caravaggio arrived in Rome in 1592 he was just another young, aspiring painter. It took only a few years for his unconventional aesthetic vision and colourful, often violent lifestyle to transfix Roman society.

To read his biography, Caravaggio was more likely to have a sword in his hand than a paintbrush, and court papers from the time amply substantiate his bad-boy behaviour, which ranged from churlish (hurling artichokes at a waiter) to deadly (murder).But it was his naturalistic style, along with his tendency to set religious scenes in the contemporary world, that really captured the public imagination.

The center of Caravaggio’s existence was the Piazza San Luigi dei Francesi, halfway between the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. Nearly every major event of Caravaggio’s Roman life happened within a five-minute walk of this square, from selling his first works to killing a man, which occurred just a few streets to the north of the piazza, in 1606. We will visit Palazzo Medici, residence of the Cardinal Del Monte, Ambassador of the Medici Family in Rome, where Caravaggio lived and painted in the underground cellar still preserved like it was 400 years ago, the church of San Nicola dei Prefetti where he prayed and the house he rented in via del Divino Amoro and via della Pallacorda where he murdered Ranuccio Tommasoni which forced him to flee Rome . The tour begins at the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo to compare his Martyrdom of St. Peter and Conversion of St. Paul, where his naturalistic style and use of dramatic chiaroscuro evolved. Particularly notable is the way in which he draws the spectator in as witness to the dramatic moment depicted. Continue to Sant’Agostino to see the Madonna di Loreto. This famous painting created a stir when it was unveiled due to his depiction of a barefoot Virgin Mary. Nearby is the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi where the Contarelli Chapel has Caravaggio’s first public work, three masterpieces dedicated to St. Matthew.

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