“Caravaggio’s Basket. Secrets and enigmas of still life” from 25th November 2023 to 7th April 2024
Since it entered the art collection of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in the early 17th century, the Canestra di frutta (Basket of Fruit) has rarely left that building in the heart of Milan.
To be able to admire it today in Asti it is a truly exceptional occasion, planned by the Fondazione Asti Musei with Arthemisia company precisely to delve into its history and, above all, to allow the public deepening more clearly and easily its meaning.
Caravaggio did not paint the Basket for Ambrosiana’s librery: we know that Cardinal Federico Borromeo came into possession of it when Caravaggio had just finished it. By the time it arrived in Milan, the artist was on the run and, as the prelate himself recounts, it was not even possible to fulfill his wish to place another painting by Merisi alongside it. In the exhibition, we retrace the history of this masterpiece and focus on the birth of Still Life, a genre that underwent a true revolution thanks to The Basket. A series of paintings have been analyzed in detail by the art historian Costantino D’Orazio, also with the aid of multimedia supports, so as to decipher the messages contained in the elements depicted with great precision and accuracy by masters such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Nicolas Régnier or Orsola Maddalena Caccia.
From 6th February the ongoing exhibition at Mazzetti’s will be enriched with a new masterpiece. St. Jerome Writing is going to come, as an exceptional loan from Borghese Gallery. This wonderful oil painting on canvas by Caravaggio dates back approximately to 1606 and it is painted for Scipione Borghese, the Cardinal and collector known for his greed and for his great admiration for Merisi too (in fact he managed to obtain four more paintings by Caravaggio, often taking advantage of his dominant position as the Pope’s nephew)