The originality of Caravaggio

Date and time

Thursday 20 October, 1–1.45pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Helen Langdon


Admission free

This lecture will explore the bold and revolutionary naturalism for which Caravaggio has long been famed.

It will trace his development from his early genre pictures of cardsharps, musicians and gypsies which fascinated his contemporaries with their novelty, to his emergence as an overwhelmingly powerful painter of sacred subjects.

Find out how Caravaggio made religious narrative new and vivid, and used dramatic contrasts of light and dark to evoke the passions in an age of spiritual crisis.

Helen Langdon

Helen Langdon is a specialist in Italian Baroque art and former Assistant Director of the British School at Rome. She has written extensively on Claude Lorrain, Salvator Rosa, and Caravaggio. She is the author of 'Caravaggio: A Life and of Caravaggio’s Cardsharps: Trickery and Illusion'.

Lunchtime talks

Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.

Image above: Detail from Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Boy bitten by a Lizard, about 1594-5