That master of chiaroscuro Caravaggio and that virtuoso of sculpture Bernini both expressed unprecedented emotion in their art. Compared to the austerity of their 17th-century Dutch counterparts, Italian artists drew inspiration from real life, their pieces exploding with vivezza. “All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles,” said Caravaggio, “unless they are made and painted from life.” Nothing was better, he believed, “than to follow nature.” This 70-work retrospective presents two artists who were forces in a new aesthetic style, later named “Baroque”—from barocco, the word for a pearl of eccentric shape. —E.C.
Rijksmuseum Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands Get Directions »