La Sapienza - Università di Roma

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Wednesday, March 1 – 9:30 am 
Aula Magna – Rectorate Building
Wednesday, March 1 – 2:30 pm
Aula I – Humanities Building
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Rome

Sine ira et studio for a Chronology of the Young Caravaggio” is a study day dedicated to the young Caravaggio organised by the Sapienza History of Art PhD in collaboration with the Department of Humanities at the University of Roma Tre and the Hertz Library - Max Planck Institut für Kunstgeschichte

The conference stems from the idea of re-opening the debate to fully comprehend the painter’s personality and artistic style.

The day, which will focus as objectively as possible on the young artist’s history “sine ira et studio” (“with no animosity or bias” - Tacitus, Annales, 1, 1, 3), will address the analysis of a group of paintings dating to the summer of 1592 (Caravaggio’s probable last presence in Lombardy) and to his public debut at the St. Louis of the French Church in the summer of 1600.

These paintings raise issues on their exact chronological positioning and sequence, even though they reveal a clear stylistic evolution. There is no documentary evidence, for example, for Merisi’s tests (Youth with a Fruit Basket, Sick Bacchino, Youth Bitten by a Lizard) that were sold when he moved to Rome, as well as the first privately sold works (The Rest from his Egypt Getaway or Good Luck).


Each of the four sessions will be closed with a public debate. The aim is to piece together the intriguing jigsaw puzzle of the fervent and vibrant years during which Caravaggio turned into the great world renowned artist.