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  • Caravaggio, "Seppellimento di santa Lucia" (dettaglio), 1608 ca, Fondo Edifici di Culto, Ministero dell'Interno
  • Alberto Burri, "Ferro SP", 1961, Roma, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
  • Cagnaccio di San Pietro, "I naufraghi", 1934, Mart, Collezione VAF-Stiftung
  • Nicola Verlato, "Fregio (parte 1)" (dettaglio), 2014-2020. Courtesy Galleria Bonelli e Courtesy Gallery Postmasters Roma

The Contemporary

Mart Rovereto
09 October 2020 / 05 April 2021

The hotly anticipated exhibition Caravaggio. The Contemporary offers visitors the opportunity to admire the Burial of Saint Lucy in the flesh. This painting is the oldest Sicilian work by Michelangelo Merisi (AKA Caravaggio) and is currently on loan from its usual home in the church of Santa Lucia alla Badia in Syracuse.
After being condemned to death by beheading and spending time on the run, Caravaggio escaped from Malta in 1608 and fled to Syracuse. It was here that he painted the Burial of Saint Lucy for the main altar in the church of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro, right where the saint was supposedly martyred. The painting appears to be set in the murky caves beneath the church, in which the martyr's tomb is located. It is an imposing canvas completed by a mature Caravaggio, who was obsessed with the idea of beheading at the time, and was a master in composing increasingly silent, spiritual paintings.
The exhibition will feature a masterpiece that has been ‘split in two’. In fact, visitors will step into an imaginary hall of mirrors, in which an original artwork is displayed alongside a very faithful replica created by the Factum Arte and Factum Foundation using revolutionary technology. The replica's faithfulness to the original is able to "deceive even the most expert eye" states Vittorio Sgarbi. The real Burial of St. Lucy will be on display at the Mart until 4 December, before returning to Syracuse to celebrate the city's patron saint on 13 December. The exhibition will continue in Rovereto until 5 April 2021.

The seventeenth-century masterpiece is exhibited among a selection of contemporary works and photographs, encouraging new conversations and emphasising Caravaggio's spiritual relevance.
The exhibition offers a comparison between this masterpiece and a selection of works by the master of Italian Informalism: Alberto Burri. In a constant dialogue between images, symbols and similarities, it is completed by a large painting entitled I naufraghi by Cagnaccio di San Pietro, works by the artist Nicola Verlato and photographer Massimo Siragusa, and a few shots that focus on the life and death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
In addition to a few core themes accentuated by comparisons with Burri, Pasolini, Cagnaccio di San Pietro and Verlato, the exhibition will also display two opening and closing pieces, one by Hermann Nitsch, taken from the Mart's own Collection, and one by Margherita Manzelli.
Finally, a work by Andrea Facco inspired by Caravaggio's Beheading of St. John the Baptist will be exhibited in the foyer of the Mart, in front of the ticket office.

Caravaggio. The Contemporary continues with two in-depth focus exhibitions dedicated to artists whose works recall, are inspired by or evoke a certain Caravaggesque aesthetic: Nicola Samorì and Luciano Ventrone.

The exhibition is enriched by a programme of events: shows, performances, meetings, presentations in collaboration with Centro Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara and Nuovo Cineforum Rovereto.

From an idea by Vittorio Sgarbi

Press release

Press release

Focus Caravaggio

Focus Caravaggio

Online tickets

Online tickets

From baroque to contemporary

From baroque to contemporary