Bodies and Shadows - Getting to know Caravaggio at LACMA

I am often invited to see and experience so many interesting and fun exhibits and shows that are specific to my general geographic location. For those of you who are geographically challenged by Southern California (no judgement, since you don't really know our state), we live in Orange County (The O.C.) about an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego. (Another So Cal Fun Fact: We measure distances by approximate driving time, but that's not important right now.)

My friends at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art invited me to the opening of one of their latest exhibitions - Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy. This exhibit can be viewed until February 10th, 2013.

Marta at exhibit
I know. It looks like it says Caravaggio and his Leg. (I know. Shut up.)

An hour's drive north and I was treated to the beauty and striking realism of Caravaggio's portraits. I particularly loved the violent contrasts of light and darkness in his works and was amazed by his ability to express powerful emotions in the way he juxtaposed his subjects and "zoomed" in on the action. 


When you see this show, be sure to get the self-guided-tour device. It looks like a large iPhone and tells you the story behind each of his works. This is the BEST way to enjoy this beautiful exhibit.


The paintings evoked the feeling that you were right there, up close and personal.

St francis of assisi in ecstasy
St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy (circa 1595)

The subjects of his paintings were strikingly "human." Quite a feat to capture so much reality and emotion on canvas. I quite enjoyed the exhibit.

On a side note, one of the artists inspired by Caravaggio who was also included in this exhibit, was Georges de La Tour. His painting of The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame (circa 1638 - 1640) was one I had seen 30 years ago at the Louvre in Paris. The reason I remember it so well is because my sister, Alina, had fallen in love with it and bought the print. What a treat to turn the corner at LACMA and re-encounter an old "friend" at this beautiful exhibit.

Magdalen with smoking flame

I highly recommend Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy. And I should also mention that currently on view at LACMA is a retrospective of director Stanley Kubrick's works until June 30, 2013. Go see it!

Thanks to LACMA for the invitation. It is certainly worth the one hour drive... in any direction.

For exhibit dates and times and more information for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, please click here.

LACMA is also on Facebook. Go "Like" their page. It's a great way to stay on top of their coming exhibits and special events. You're welcome. ;-)


{Disclosure: LACMA provided entry to the museum so that I could review the exhibit. All opinions are my own.}