Considered the most brilliant of the painters coming in the wake of Caravaggio, and one of the greatest French artists—indeed, the equal of Poussin—Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632) spent the greater part of his career in Rome executing prestigious papal commissions. His work was also collected by people in power, most notably Cardinal Mazarin and Louis XIV, and throughout the 19th century served as a model for masters as different as David and Courbet.
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‘Beyond Caravaggio’ is the first major exhibition in the UK to explore the influence of Caravaggio on the art of his contemporaries and followers.
After the unveiling of Caravaggio’s first public commission in 1600, artists from across Europe flocked to Rome to see his work. Seduced by the pictorial and narrative power of his paintings, many went on to imitate their naturalism and dramatic lighting effects.