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Beyond Caravaggio @ The National Gallery, London

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Julian Bell reviews Beyond Caravaggio at The National Gallery, London, on view through January 15, 2017.

Describing Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ (1602), Bell observes “This is beauty, Caravaggio-style. An object is illuminated and scrutinised until its textures sing out. Comparable pleasures are on offer when Caravaggio paints a glass vase in the National Gallery’s Boy Bitten by a Lizard or a basket of fruit in Supper at Emmaus … This, after all, was the young Lombard’s calling card when Roman patrons led by Cardinal del Monte began commissioning Caravaggio in the mid-1590s: an unprecedented technical prowess, allowing him to deliver descriptions of physicality so acute and luscious that they left words behind.”

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