The display focuses on two works by Carravaggio: Boy Bitten by a Lizard, a masterpiece widely dated to the artist’s early period, and Narcissus, one of his later canvases, dating from around 1599.
Narcissus, which is a new addition to the exhibition, is one of only two known Caravaggios on a theme from classical mythology. It is permanently housed at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome.
The painting is one of the best known works by the Italian master, said Zuzanna Potocka-Szawerdo, curator of the exhibition.
She added that “the myth of Narcissus usually places him in very opulent surroundings, while Caravaggio strips off the myth from the richness, and uses only sombre colours, reducing it to its essence: the boy falling in love with himself and forgetting about the rest of the world."
The Warsaw exhibition also features more than 40 paintings by Caravaggio’s followers and artists who throughout the 17th century remained under the influence of his original style.
All the paintings come from the collection of Roberto Longhi, an Italian academic, art historian and curator who had a special research interest in the work of Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio.
Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska has this report.
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