Home»Artful Traveler»The Artful Traveler, by Bobbie Leigh

The Artful Traveler, by Bobbie Leigh

1caravaggioapollotheluteplayer_2 New York: The not-to-be-missed gallery show of the fall season will be Salander-O’Reilly’s "Masterpieces of Art: Five Centuries of Painting and Sculpture," from October 17, 2007 to February 1, 2008. Count on Italian works you can’t afford to miss — Botticelli, Correggio, Titian among others. But the absolute biggest draw is bound to be one of the world’s great paintings, Caravaggio’s "Apollo the Lute Player," on loan from a private collector. This is one of the best known images in Western art. To the modern eye, the lute player with such soft features and hair ribbons could be a young girl, but experts tell us it was a castrato who was the model. The painting was only recently identified as a Caravaggio after a major cleaning. Before that, it languished unrecognized at the Duke of Beaufort’s Badminton House in Somerset for some 300 years. Most curators and experts considered the Apollo a copy of a similar painting in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. But they were wrong. Art historians recently discovered that the dewdrops scattered on the flowers and the sunlight reflected in a carafe of water next to the lute player were not in the St. Petersburg painting. In fact, both elements were described by the painter’s early biographer, Giovanni Baglione. The painting is extraordinary and it has the setting it deserves, the quasi-Baroque opulent first-floor of the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries (22 E. 71st, New York , NY)

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