Naples and her Baroque Past and Present

This exhibition in Naples in the Museum Capodimonte is an initiative that tells the story of the Baroque as a passion for life and as a passion for art. It is an event that involves the city of Naples and its environs in a dense programme of exhibitions in six of the city’s museums and numerous other initiatives that encompass art, architecture, music and theatre. But Back to Baroque is intended to highlight the gains in knowledge and trends, but also to focus attention on the many deeply rooted attitudes and practices that characterized Naples in the Baroque era, with consequences that reverberated through the years that followed and up until recent times. Ever since the early seventeenth century, the city was riven by the constant contrasts of vice and virtue, poverty and excess, criminality and nobility. Naples was experienced and perceived as a vast stage where the human condition was played out, a ″great theatre of the world″ where natura e artificio, history and legend, reality and fantasy were inextricably entwined, where the stars and the supporting players switched roles and intermingled in situations both common and strange, oscillating between joy and tragedy, between fanciful frivolity and profound reflection.