Tomorrow (Sunday), Kimbell Art Museum (3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Cultural District, 817-332-8451) is offering a pretty sweet deal: free admission to the first 101 visitors to the opening of the Cultural District institution’s illuminating new exhibit, Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome, perhaps the only time in your life you’ll be able to see as many Caravaggios in one place at the same time. Tickets, otherwise, are $5-14 per person. (Admission is free for children 6 and younger.) Doors open tomorrow at noon. The exhibit hangs until early January, 2012.
To bring a little bit of 17th-century Italy to viewers, the museum will ring with the sounds of performances by Fort Worth Opera Studio artists, belting out a mix of Italian arias and duets, and Orchestra of New Spain (Spain?), playing period pieces by the likes of Francesco Geminiani, Arcangelo Correlli, Domenico Zipoli, and Isabella Leonarda. Attendees will also have the chance to win tickets to productions and performances by Fort Worth Opera, Orchestra of New Spain, Texas Camerata, Texas Ballet Theater, Casa Mañana, Cliburn at the Bass, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. A Kimbell Family Membership also will be given away.
One reason you probably won’t be near as many Caravaggios ever again is that there simply isn’t a bevy of them. The artist got a late start in his career, spent a lot of time painting altarpieces in Italian churches (instead of free-standing canvases), and died at the young age of 39 after a life full of carousing –– most of what we know about him comes from police reports. What he did to revolutionize Baroque painting was infuse portraiture with narrative drama and emotion and employ light in ways that suggested the supernatural. Organized by the Kimbell and the National Gallery of Canada, Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome features more than 50 paintings, 10 from the master and the rest from artists influenced by him. The only Caravaggio exhibit larger than the Kimbell’s occurred in 1985 at The Met. Since then, many painterly discoveries have been made, including the Kimbell’s “Cardsharps,” a signature Caravaggio that had been lost from public view for more than 80 years before being rediscovered in 1987.