The art exhibitions you can't miss in 2024

The Last Caravaggio



In 1610, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was in Naples, working on what would become his final painting.

Two months later, he died under mysterious circumstances. It was during these last turbulent years that Caravaggio produced some of his most remarkable works. His distinctive style featured tightly cropped scenes and dramatic lighting, using real models with dirty feet and grimy fingernails.

Few paintings capture the essence of Caravaggio’s final years better than his last-known work, “The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula” (1610, Gallerie d’Italia, Naples). This painting is coming to London for the first time in 20 years. In it, we witness violence up close, with an intricate interplay of guilty and innocent hands. Caravaggio’s own self-portrait looks on, helpless.

We’ll display this painting alongside the letter describing its creation (Archivio di Stato, Naples), and our own late Caravaggio, “Salome with the Head of John the Baptist” (about 1609–10).

During our Bicentenary year, you’re invited to contemplate this masterpiece, explore the troubled end of Caravaggio’s life, and reflect on the stories of Ursula and Salome, as well as on contemporary violence.





“I am always learning”



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