Another groundbreaking exhibition from Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, this time featuring Caravaggio, Bernini and early 17th century art from Rome.
- First-of-its-kind (outside Italy) exhibition of early baroque works
- Over 70 masterpieces brought together from all over the world
- Juxtaposes paintings with sculptures to present the revolutionary artistic context of the time and place
- Oct 15, 2019 to Jan 19, 2020
- Needs an additional ticket and time slot booking to view
- Free entry to the museum itself with a Vienna Pass
- See also: Kunsthistorisches Museum tickets and visitor info
Caravaggio in Vienna
Few artists through history manage to become household names. Caravaggio (1571-1610) is one of them. And Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) just happens to have the largest collection of works by him and his artistic successors available outside Italy. This includes three Caravaggio originals, David with the Head of Goliath, Madonna of the Rosary, and Crowning with Thorns.
So it’s a little surprising that this is the first major exhibition in Austria of paintings from Caravaggio’s time. But that’s not the only premiere for this exhibition.
Add in Bernini (1598-1680), considered by many as the father of baroque sculpture, and other masterpieces of the early-17th century, and you have the first occasion such a significant collection of early baroque art has ever been shown outside Italy.
The exhibition includes over 70 masterpieces and showcases the work of the two groundbreaking Italians within the wider context of the artistic revolution going on around them in Rome, when the city became a magnet for artists from all over Europe.
These masterpieces come from all over the world, thanks to loans from such prestigious institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Eremitage, London’s National Gallery, the Getty Museum and elsewhere.
As soon as I get a chance to visit, I’ll add in my personal exhibition highlights. I suspect they will be as “colourful” as Caravaggio himself, a man who once fled Rome to avoid a death sentence. But expect to see:
- On top of the KHM’s own Caravaggio paintings (see earlier), also his Boy Bitten by a Lizard, Narcissus, John the Baptist, and Portrait of Fra Antonio Martelli
- Bernini’s Medusa and Saint Sebastian sculptures, a Bust of Cardinal Richilieu, models for his Elephant and Obelisk and Ecstasy of Saint Teresa sculptures, and more
Other works include:
- Guido Reni’s Massacre of the Innocents
- Artemisia Gentileschi’s Mary Magdalene (on public display for the first time)
- Paintings or sculptures by Carracci, Poussin, Preti, da Cortona, Mochi, Finelli, Algardi, Du Quesnoy and others of their ilk
Dates & tickets
The Caravaggio and Bernini exhibition is a cooperation with Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and runs from Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 to Sunday, January 19th, 2020. During this period, the Kunsthistorisches Museum opens daily from 10am to 6pm (9pm on Thursdays).
You need an additional ticket above and beyond a normal entrance ticket to view this special exhibition. The Caravaggio “upgrade” costs €5 and you book a specific time slot for viewing the exhibition (day and time) when you get the ticket, whether online or on-site.
The 2018 special exhibition (Bruegel) also allowed free entry with a Vienna Pass sightseeing pass, though you still needed to book a time slot from the exhibition counter at the museum. However, I’ve not yet found out if this is the case with Caravaggio. You can always play safe and use the pass to get into the museum, but buy the extra time slot ticket separately.
Premium tickets (€30) are available which include the museum entry and you only have to specify the day you want to see the Caravaggio exhibition.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum operated a similar timeslot system for the Bruegel exhibition. Premium tickets and many slots sold out (particularly from the end of December). This may happen with Caravaggio, too.
How to get to the Caravaggio exhibition
The museum sits opposite the Hofburg palace area that dominates the old centre of Vienna. If you’re following the traditional visitor trails through the city, you’ll pass it.
And as one of the monumental constructs along the Ring boulevard, various trams and subway trains deliver you practically to the doorstep:
Subway: travel on the U2 line to Volkstheater or Museumsquartier stations. Volkstheater is also on the U3 line that traverses the centre.
Tram: take the 1, 2, 71 or D trams around the Ring to the Burgring stop, which is literally outside one end of the museum.
Address: Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna | Website