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From Caravaggio to Paolini, the Painters of Light

From 08 December 2021 to 02 October 2022, the Cavallerizza di Lucca in Piazzale Verdi hosts the exhibition “Painters of light. From Caravaggio to Paolini ", curated by the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi. There are many seventeenth-century masterpieces that can be admired: about 100 works from Italian and international museums, dioceses and private collections.

Between Caravaggio and Paolini, an impossible exhibition


The exhibition turns the spotlight on the role of light, an essential element in the painting of "luminists". The latter distinguished themselves during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries precisely for the wise use of light, the protagonist of each work.

The exhibition embraces the school of thought that goes from Caravaggio, the first great director in the history of art, to Pietro Paolini, an artist from Lucca famous for his contribution to the aesthetic themes of the new naturalist school.

Caravaggio owes his fame to the ability to perfectly combine sensitivity and experience in his works, at the center of which is man. The use of light and dark characterizes the artistic production, making his art perfectly recognizable.

Three works by the master of light are on display at the Cavallerizza, which define three different moments in his artistic career. In chronological order, we find the Boy who cleans a fruit, the Burial of Santa Lucia and Il Cadaventi.

The first work dates back to the mid-nineties of the sixteenth century, in full artistic debut.

The Burial of Saint Lucia guides the visitor in the period of arrival in Syracuse after the escape from the prison of Malta. In Sicily, Caravaggio conceived the work as an altarpiece for the main altar of the Basilica of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro where, according to tradition, the Saint was killed.

With Caravaggio's latest work on display, Il Cadaventi - coming from the Uffizi in Florence and visible until March - the revolutionary journey of the famous painter comes to an end.

A meeting point with Paolini was born with Il Cadaventi. Struck by Caravaggio's style, he decides to return to Lucca with a series of pictorial novelties destined to become a trademark of Tuscan artistic production of the period. The artists of this current will be famous above all by the use of light in dark nights.


Not only Caravaggio and Paolini


Among the works on display, there are also those by Giovanni Lanfranco, Master of the Winegrowers, Angelo Caroselli, Pietro della Vecchia and Antonio Gherardi.

The setting also plays a leading role in the exhibition, thanks to the sculptures of Cesare Inzerillo and Marilena Manzella. The works of art - a Shroud, a Pear, a Viola and a Candelabra - emerge from the darkness of the Cavallerizza walls, reproducing some enlarged details of the paintings on display.

To accompany the visitor throughout the exhibition, there are the original music by Lello Analfino.

“After all this darkness, the light returns to Lucca”, the words of Vittorio Sgarbi. "The exhibition" - he continued - "starts from Caravaggio's revolution, indicative, with the presence of a very remarkable work such as Cavadenti, on which, by style and genre, Paolini certainly had to reflect, testifying the most integral coherence between the painters of light".


Book your stay at Hotel Ilaria and discover the magnificent works of the Painters of Light.

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