Discover Caravaggio’s Rome with Andrew Graham Dixon
Few artists can be counted as influential as Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio after the town in Lombardia where he was raised. Orphaned by the age of 13, Caravaggio was a tortured genius known as much for his destructive and ultimately murderous temper as his art. His skill as a painter though was beyond doubt. He transformed chiaroscuro into dramatic tenebrism, revealing his characters theatrically in rays of light. He was a quick worker who painted directly onto the canvas. What made him revolutionary, though, was his radical naturalism, which saw him paint ordinary looking people in graphic detail, allowing him to offer rare psychological insights. He brought this naturalism even to his sacred subjects; his depiction of Our Lady in the Pilgrim's Madonna caused a sensation because it audaciously depicted her barefooted.
While Caravaggio painted in different cities, including Naples and Valletta, it was in Rome that he made his name. From an inauspicious beginning, selling his art on the street, Caravaggio became the most famous painter in a city which provided him numerous opportunities and commissions. This tour invites you the appreciate some of his most spectacular works in the company of Andrew Graham-Dixon, one of the nation’s foremost art critics and author of Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane.
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Day 1 - London - Rome
We fly to Rome and check into our hotel. We will have an introductory lecture by Andrew Graham-Dixon on Caravaggio and the time the artist spent in Rome.
Day 2 - Rome
We begin our exploration north of the historic heart of Rome at the Basilica of Sta Maria del Popolo, which displays The Crucifixion of St. Peter and The Conversion of St. Paul. Then we transfer to the Ludovisi district, to visit the Villa Ludovisi (now a casino, but with private tours available) for Caravaggio’s only oil wall painting Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. In the afternoon, we proceed to the Palazzo Barberini for St. Francis in Meditation, Narcissus and Judith Beheading Holofernes, and the Chiesa da Sta Maria Immacolata, home to the ‘newest’ Caravaggio – the recently-authenticated Meditation of St. Francis – and Capuchin ossuary crypt.
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 3 - Rome
We spend our morning at the glorious Galleria Borghese, home to no fewer than seven Caravaggio masterpieces – Self Portrait as Bacchus, Boy with a Basket of Fruit, St. Jerome Writing, The Madonna and Child with St. Anne, Portrait of Pope Paul V, David with the Head of Goliath and St. John the Baptist. Andrew Graham-Dixon departs in the afternoon, and our expert local guide takes us into the city to the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj to admire three Caravaggio works – Rest on the Flight to Egypt, Penitent Magdalene and John the Baptist.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Day 4 - Rome
Our day is spent exploring the treasures of Vatican City, the world’s smallest city state. Admire the elegant expanse of St. Peter’s Square, the majesty of St Peter’s Basilica (described as ‘the greatest of all churches in Christendom’) and the extraordinary Vatican Museums, home to Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ amongst countless other artistic treasures, including Michelangelo’s sublime Sistine Chapel ceiling. The day concludes with a farewell meal.
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 5 - Rome - London
On our final morning in the Italian capital, we visit the Chiesa di S. Luigi dei Francesi to view Caravaggio’s three St. Matthew paintings (The Calling of St. Matthew, The Martyrdom of St. Matthew and St. Matthew and the Angel) and the Basilica di S. Agostino to view the so-called Pilgrims’ Madonna. This is the Campo Marzio neighbourhood of Rome, where Caravaggio killed Ranuccio Tomassoni. Under sentence of death, he would flee the city. We fly home late afternoon.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Celebrity Guest
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local Guide
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
- All transport taxes
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Offer||Availability|
|13 October 2021||ATRC211013||13 October 2021 (Wednesday)||17 October 2021 (Sunday)||Andrew Graham-Dixon||£2,695