Caravaggio and His Time — Between Naturalism and Classicism

Messe Basel
Until April 7, 2024

Caravaggio was the initiator of a great stylistic and cultural change. He is still relevant and his works continue to impress 400 years after his death. The exhibition “Caravaggio and His Time” at the Messe Basel presents some of his masterpieces that mark the path from his training in Lombardy to his success in Rome and Naples, up to the last years of his tragic existence. Along the way, you will meet masters who accompanied his pictorial reform in a naturalistic direction, and others who chose different paths, contaminating the figurative culture of the 17th century and turning it into something rich and eclectic. Finally, you encounter those who remained anchored to the late Mannerist tradition. The final section of the exhibition will briefly address the time after Caravaggio and the influence that the great Lombard genius had on the young people of the next generation.

More than 60 paintings allow the visitor to take a complete journey through the phenomenon of “Caravaggism.” In addition to Caravaggio, the artists on display include Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, Guercino, Guido Reni, Annibale Carracci, and Simone Peterzano.

The exhibition is divided into six sections—“Through the eyes of Caravaggio,” “Masters and craft shops,” “Still life,” “Classicism,” “Caravaggio: friends and enemies,” and “Caravaggio and the Carravagesque”—as well as a focus on the figure of Saint Jerome.

The exhibition is open Tuesday through Sunday as well as on holidays (except December 25). Check their website for opening hours, especially around the holiday season.

Tickets are CHF 22-25 for adults (depending on day of the week), CHF 18-21 for students, and CHF 10 for children. Family tickets are also available for CHF 59-65 for two adults and two children. The entrance fee includes the audio guide, which is available in 4 languages (E / D / F / I).