Caravaggio: Anatomist?

Caravaggio’s Death of the Virgin has been likened to a dissection scene in its presentation of a dead putrefying body, surrounded by onlookers. But could Caravaggio also have taken a genuine interest in anatomy and what knowledge of this field might he have had, if any? Given Caravaggio’s appropriation of the work of Michelangelo, who was acclaimed as an anatomist, to what extent may Caravaggio’s allusions to cutting and severing have served his claim to know the body as well as Michelangelo had?

Frances Gage is associate professor of Renaissance and Baroque art history at the State College at Buffalo, New York. She is a historian of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian art and criticism, collecting, intellectual history and medicine. Her articles and essays have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly, Intellectual History Review and The Burlington Magazine and in numerous volumes including Display of Art in Roman Palaces, 1550-1750 and Caravaggio: Reflections and Refractions. She is the author of Painting as Medicine in Early Modern Rome: Giulio Mancini and the Efficacy of Art, published by Penn State University Press in 2016.

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5:00pm, 9 Nov 2016

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London