Master of light Caravaggio to dazzle Moscow

A revolutionary who altered world art, labeled the first ever photographer for his approach to light. Now, Moscow will host the biggest ever display of Caravaggio’s paintings in Russia, showcasing eleven out of just a few dozen surviving works.

The capital’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts will have the honor of receiving the canvases – no mean feat, as museums that own Caravaggio creations loan them extremely unwillingly.

Few world galleries can boast more than one painting by the 16th-century Italian great. The luckiest is Rome’s Borghese Gallery, with six: of these, Moscow will see Boy with a Basket of Fruit. Another masterpiece, The Entombment of Christ, is coming from the Vatican, whose sacred walls it very rarely leaves. Santa Maria del Popolo chapel in Rome offers its Conversion of Saint Paul.

Not only is Caravaggio credited with early use of camera obscura technique, making a hole in his ceiling to project images. More recently, experts discovered that he used chemicals to turn his canvases into a sort of photographic film. The painter is now often lauded as the world’s first photographer – 200 years before the camera was invented.

The Moscow display will run between November 26 and February 19: a brilliant highlight of the Italy-Russia cross-cultural year.

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