Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) produced a highly diverse body of paintings that had an enormous impact on the development of seventeenth-century art. Intensely detailed realist observation, a compelling sense of drama, and powerful contrasts between light and dark all contributed to the success of his art and helped to establish his fame.

As early as 1603-04 the Netherlandish painter and writer Karel Van Mander acknowledged Caravaggio’s radical originality. He included Caravaggio’s biography in his Schilder-boeck and praised his ability ‘to face life and to follow nature with all her different colours’. Van Mander called Caravaggio’s painting technique an example ‘for our young artists to follow’ – and follow it they did. Among the artists who assimilated elements of his style in their own work, a disproportionally large number came from Northern Europe.

The present conference seeks to shed new light on the rich diversity of artistic responses to Caravaggio’s painted oeuvre during the early decades of the seventeenth century. These responses will not be analysed only in terms of style and influence. Special attention will also be devoted to the specificcontexts in which Northern painters responded to the Italian master’s innovations. The mechanisms of migration, the history of collecting and working relationships between artists will therefore receive due attention. The conference anticipates some of the central themes of the upcoming exhibition “Caravaggio and the Painters from the North”, scheduled to take place in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid (21 June – 25 September 2016).

Conference organised by Gert Jan van der Sman (Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut, Florence) in collaboration with Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University.

Date: Monday 30 November 2015
Location: Museum Catharijneconvent, Nieuwegracht 63, Utrecht
Admission free
Pre-registration is required to guarantee seating: niki.symposium@let.uu.nl
(Deadline 23 November)
Lunch: 8,50/10,00 euro
Information: Mireille Cornelis, NIKI-ambassador, niki.symposium@let.uu.nl

PROGRAM
9:00-9:30 Coffee/Tea
9:30 Keimpe Algra (Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University),
Welcome
9:45 Gert Jan van der Sman (NIKI), Caravaggio and Northern
European painting
Moderator Volker Manuth (Radboud University, Nijmegen)
10:15 Francesca Cappelletti (University of Ferrara), Northern painters
in the household of the Giustiniani
10:45 Coffee/Tea
11:00 Marije Osnabrugge (University of Montpellier), The lives and
careers of Dutch and Flemish painters in seventeenth-century
Naples
11:30 Marten Jan Bok (University of Amsterdam), The Utrecht
Caravaggisti: who were they?
12:00 Discussion
12:15 Lunch
Moderator Jeroen Stumpel (Utrecht University)
13:45 Giovanna Capitelli (University of Calabria), Dirck van Baburen
and David de Haen in Rome
14:15 Joost Vander Auwera (Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium,
Brussels), Painters from the Southern Netherlands in light of both
Caravaggio and the Carracci
14:45 John Gash (University of Aberdeen), Gérard Douffet and Italy
15:15 Coffee/Tea
15:30 Gregor J. M. Weber (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Ter Brugghen’s
lost Martyrdom of St Bartholomew: what a copy can tell
16:00 Liesbeth M. Helmus (Centraal Museum Utrecht), The Utrecht
Caravaggists in international context (exhibition project in Utrecht
and Munich)
16:30 Discussion