Musicians Exhibited

This exhibition in the Staedelmuseum in for the first time offers a comprehensive and high-quality assembly of musicians and brothel scenes by these so-called Utrecht Caravaggists. Their works will be juxtaposed with superb paintings by Caravaggio that had served the Utrecht painters as an inspiration. The show will revolve around Caravaggio’s famous Lute Player, an incunabulum of Baroque portraiture of musicians. Museums throughout Europe and the United States are supporting this exhibition with over 40 important loans. Among the lenders are the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Since the – late– rediscovery of Caravaggio and the Caravaggists from about 1950 on and especially in recent years, several exhibitions have explored the phenomenon in question. The Städel Museum’s exhibition differs from past projects by emphatically focusing on the portraiture of musicians and brothel scenes and by directly confronting works by Caravaggio with paintings by the Utrecht artists Terbrugghen, Honthorst, and Baburen. A comprehensive and high-quality selection of their works will now be presented in Germany again for the first time since the exhibition “Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht. Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen” in Braunschweig in 1987. The assessment of the Utrecht Caravaggists’s depictions of musicians on the art market is also symptomatic of the high esteem these works presently enjoy.