By no means do I consider myself in any shape or form an expert, but I do enjoy art and I love me some Caravaggio. I know it’s so cliche because everyone loves Caravaggio but what can I say? His paintings move me. I haven’t traveled solely for the purpose of seeing his paintings–at least not yet!– though I’m not opposed to the idea and every time I visit somewhere new, I consult Wikipedia’s nifty chronology of Caravaggio works to see if any paintings from the Baroque master happen to call the city home.
One perk of living abroad in Rome was that I had six Caravaggio paintings in Rome at my disposal. Yup, I could see these heart-stirring masterpieces for free any time of my choosing, so long as I chose to visit the churches during their opening hours: Madonna di Loreto at Sant’Agostino; Calling of Saint Matthew, Saint Matthew and the Angel and Martyrdom of Saint Matthew at San Luigi dei Francesi; and Crucifixion of Saint Peter and Conversion of Saul at Santa Maria del Popolo. (Note: The former closes at noon and the other two at 12.30 for a midday repose; San Luigi reopens at 3pm and the other two at 4pm, all closing for the day by 7pm.)
While it’s not quite the same thing as admission isn’t free therefore I can’t see them anytime I want, I find comfort in knowing there are two Caravaggio paintings in Milan: Basket of Fruit inside the Pinacoteca di Biblioteca Ambrosiana and Supper at Emmaus at the Pinacoteca di Brera, for which admission tickets cost €15 and €10 respectively.
Also, while not the real McCoy, the church of San Marco in the Brera displays a replica of Caravaggio’s powerful Entombment of Christ…the Vatican Museums house the original version. Yes, this one is free.
Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera 28
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Piazza Pio XI 2
Chiesa di San Marco, Piazza S. Marco 2