Light, innovation, genius and art. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, known as Caravaggio (1571-1610) is one of the most famous Italian artists in the world. The extraordinary painting technique and the intensity of his paintings have turned him into a witness of his tormented historical period, the Counter-Reformation and the Baroque, but above all into an absolute master of light.
His innovative technique went beyond eras and genres, influencing twentieth century photographers and filmmakers. Now, for the first time, one of his original paintings is exhibited in Santiago de Chile, thanks to the efforts of the Enel Group’s and Enel Green Power Chile and the collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Chile, the Italian Institute of Culture in Santiago.
On October 20, the exposition Caravaggio en Chile. Luz del Barroco was inaugurated at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago. At the centre of the exhibition St. John the Baptist, painted in 1602, which comes from the collection of the Capitoline Museums in Rome.
"This initiative - said Enel Chile’s general manager Nicola Cotugno, speaking at the vernissage – is in line with the Open Power vision underpinning our group’s new strategy, characterised by the focus on developing new partnerships to improve the quality of life of Chileans and contribute to the country’s progress. By bringing to Chile the work of an artist as exceptional as Caravaggio we demonstrate this openness and our commitment to establish partnerships to help build a better, culturally integrated society."
"The exhibition - said Enel’s Renewable Energy Director for Latin America Salvatore Bernabei - is part of the celebrations for the first non-conventional GW of renewable capacity installed by our Group in Chile. It is the result of the collaboration between Enel Green Power and the Capitoline Museums in Rome. We hope that this event will leave a mark in the country’s cultural growth and will contribute to broaden the dialogue between Chile’s and Italy’s cultures".
The collaboration between Enel, Enel Green Power and the Capitoline Museums in Rome, initiated in 2014 and extended to the entire Enel group in November of the same year, has already made similar initiatives possible in Brazil and the United States, with the aim of strengthening the bonds of our group with the countries in which it operates.
The St. John the Baptist displayed in Santiago was commissioned to Caravaggio by Ciriaco Mattei, one of the most prominent members of Roman society in the ‘600s and was dedicated to Ciriaco’s son, whose name was Giovanni Battista.
The painting, restored in 2010, is a summary of the artist's meditations on religious painting and enhances the use of light, through which another Italian art genius, Michelangelo can be reinterpreted. In fact, the Baptist is inspired by one of the nudes frescoed by the Florentine master on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, completely innovated by Caravaggio. The figure is not drawn, but reproduced from life by using a makeshift darkroom, with a single strong light from above, projecting the image by means of mirrors and lenses.
An innovation that has turned Caravaggio into a kind of precursor of photography and the use of light in films. It is not by chance that during the exhibition in Santiago, which will remain open until December 18, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes has organised a number of events on the master’s influence on filmography and on international and Chilean artists of the last century.
Therefore, the exhibition is an opportunity to take a close view at the transition between tradition and innovation in art. A path whose constant assumption is openness, curiosity, sharing.
Further details on Caravaggio en Chile. Luz del Barroco are available at www.mnba.cl.