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Caravaggio & Bernini

Caravaggio & Bernini

This major international exhibition presents an impressive and powerful visual baroque spectacle at the Kunsthistorisches Museum for the first time. The main focus is on the revolutionary oeuvres of two outstanding artists – the painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680).

Although the Kunsthistorisches Museum houses the largest and most valuable holdings of works by Caravaggio and his followers outside Italy, no museum in Austria has ever hosted a comprehensive exhibition on him and his time. Works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a sculptor who was a generation younger than Caravaggio, are also rarely shown here.

Bringing together around sixty important works – both paintings and sculptures – by artists from the early seventeenth century, the exhibition explores the phenomenon of the rise and flowering of the Baroque, and presents radically new works produced in Rome at this important juncture in art history: fascinating artworks full of drama, intense passions, strong movement and colourful theatricality. Both Caravaggio and Bernini towered over their contemporaries, and their novel idioms and unconventional lifestyles cut quite a dash in contemporary Rome.

The exhibition focuses on the artistic revolutions that rocked the Eternal City between 1600 and 1640, and that would profoundly influence the rest of Europe. During these decades the city became the magnet of countless talented artists who made their way there from Florence, Naples and Lombardy but also from France and the Low Countries in the hope of work and fame. Soon Rome blossomed into an artistic centre bursting with novel ideas and inventions. Typical of this period – later called the early Baroque – is a growing willingness among artists to collaborate, to which the founding of an academy (Accademia di San Luca) and personal friendships bear eloquent witness.

By juxtaposing paintings and sculptures, the exhibition hopes to reveal new perspectives and ways of seeing the art produced in Rome in the early seventeenth century. There has never been an exhibition outside of Italy of this size and scope, bringing together so many important early-baroque artworks.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, where it will move in the spring of 2020.

Michelangelo Merisi, gen. Caravaggio
David mit dem Haupt des Goliath
um 1600/01


15 October 2019
to 19 January 2020

Picture Gallery
1st Floor
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien

Opening hours
June to August
Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

September to May
Tue – Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Admission till half an hour before closing time.

Holiday opening hours

During the exhibition »Caravaggio & Bernini«,
15 October 2019 to 19 January 2020, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is open daily.

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