This is the downside of the rooms in the little spacious at the Musée Jacquemart-André: it is necessary to play of the elbows before you can admire the works of Caravaggio. The master of chiaroscuro, a painter and a criminal master as much as myth, portrays strength and majesty. The place focuses ten of his works, which is in itself a performance, as they equivalent more or less to one-sixth of its production.

In addition, his torienne art Francesca Cappelletti – who must already the exhibition at the Petit Palais in 2015 entitled “The shallows of the baroque”, which made the Rome of vice and misery in the Seventeenth century – confronts this body various paintings executed by elders or siblings, rivals, or friends. In this it specifies the time of apogee of the Counter-Reformation and then leakage of Caravaggio in 1606, in the face of justice, which characterized his genius.

The work of Michelangelo Merisi (1571-1610), prodigy born in Milan but was born in Caravaggio, in contrast, from the outset in the selection. Would it be because the lute Player came from the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, the Ecce Homo (for which the attribution remains highly debated) of Genoa or even the second Supper at Emmaus (that of Milan) had never been caught in France.

would it still be that because you discover in the last room not a the penitent Magdalene , but two, special collections, and for the first time close together, which allows everyone to play to say which one is the best.

severed Heads

Otherwise, the course aligns severed heads of Goliath or of Holofernes, musicians and still lifes (the sumptuous fruit basket of Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, rediscovered recently and property of the Foundation, Palatine, Liechtenstein, seems here a kind of development of that installed in the foreground in the left corner of the lute Player ). And yet groups of saints Jerome, John the Baptist and Francis.

This thematic organization has the merit to measure creativity and the technique of Caravaggio’s roman against those of some of his illustrious contemporaries. The Rider of Arpin, Annibale Carracci (the other great leader of a school of these years, unfortunately only mentioned by a Adoration of the shepherds ), Orazio Gentileschi, Giovanni Baglione (who filed a lawsuit to Merisi), or Jusepe de Ribera.

This last glows black and very theatrical with a terrible Denial of saint Peter , loan from the palazzo Corsini in Rome. A caravaggio more mind-blowing than Caravaggio himself?

the Last summit to consider: the Saint Jerome all in folds and wrinkles, the icon of the Borghese Gallery. How not to see in him a reflection on the man and, more particularly, an introspection of Caravaggio himself? The pious old man appears deep in meditation and great in his work. But also the body, worn out by life and worn down by the task. In the darkness, illuminated by a mysterious light, possibly divine, one side of this bald head of the thinker at work. On the other, a skull, a symbol of all the vanities.

“Caravaggio in Rome, friends, & enemies”, Musée Jacquemart-André, 158, bd Haussmann (VIIIe). Tel.: 01 45 62 11 59. Opening hours: everyday from 10 h to 18 h, Monday at 20: 30. Until 28 January. Catalogue: Ed. Mercator, 192 p., 32 €