Entdeckung der Gefühle

Caravaggio & Bernini


Although recently the KHM has been in the headlines rather for cultural-political reasons, the fact that there is a big Caravaggio and Bernini exhibition is going on will not have passed unnoticed. (Attention! Again there are time slot tickets!)

And, of course, Caravaggio's paintings are exceptional, even if - similar to Bruegel - the main works of the exhibition are part of the permanent collection. The painter with the wicked image, that might not necessarily be true, who died relatively young, but left an insanely influential oeuvre behind, naturally pulls the crowds. The silent hero of the show, however, is Bernini who usually receives much less attention. Several visitors told me how they stood perplexed and amazed in front of the lace collar of the English courtier Thomas Baker’s bust.

Thematically, the exhibition is divided into emotional groups - such as "amore", or "orrore & terribilità", "visione" - and thus into conceptual worlds that were already familiar to people in the Baroque period. Other works from Caravaggio's and Bernini's surroundings illustrate the atmosphere and mood of the time further, and it really should be mentioned that a painting by Artemisia Gentileschi is included in the show, namely "Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy". The innovation and change taking place then is probably best outlined by a quote by Erwin Panofsky. As the booklet for the exhibition says, "The people of the Baroque era "do not only feel, but are also aware of their own feelings".




Julia Maurer





Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Burgring 5

1010 Wien










1: Ausstellungsansicht, Caravaggio & Bernini, Wien, 2019 © KHM-Museumsverband

2: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, “David mit dem Haupt des Goliath”, um 1600/01, Pappelholz, 90,5 × 116 cm, Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum © KHM-Museumsverband

3: Artemisia Gentileschi, “Maria Magdalena in Ekstase”, 1620/25, Leinwand, 81 × 105 cm, Privatsammlung © Foto: Dominique Provost

Header, 4: Ausstellungsansicht, Caravaggio & Bernini, Wien, 2019 © KHM-Museumsverband