Events in Rome

From Caravaggio to Bernini

Rome Scuderie del Quirinale museum from 14 April 2017 till 30 July 2017. Through a remarkable selection of paintings and sculptures, the exhibition 'From Caravaggio to Bernini. Masterpieces of the Italian Seicento from the Spanish Royal Collection' reflects the close political links and cultural strategies established by the Spanish court and the Italian states over the course of the 17th century. The art collections of the Hapsburg dynasty were enriched by the frequent diplomatic gifts from Italian rulers striving to earn the favour of the Spanish overlords, who with their domains – the Viceroyalty of Naples and the State of Milan – conditioned the development of the complex political situation in Italy from the mid-16th century onwards. This is the case with two of the most spectacular paintings on display, Guercino's Lot and His Daughters and Guido Reni's Conversion of Saul, which Prince Ludovisi donated to Philip IV with the aim of ensuring Spanish protection over the tiny State of Piombino. A large number of other artworks – including the magnificent Crucifix by Bernini from the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a work rarely accessible to the public – were commissioned or acquired by envoys of the king. Other works were commissioned or purchased – as in the case of Caravaggio's Salome – by representatives of the Spanish crown in Italy (ambassadors and viceroys), who were either despatched to the papal court or Naples, or bequeathed the works to the royal collection.

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