Lecture: Caravaggio, una vita barocca

by Francesca Cappelletti at Teatre Akadèmia


Lecture by Francesca Cappelletti about Caravaggio’s life and art in Rome during the most splendorous period of his career which spans from 1592 to 1606.

Francesca Cappelletti


She is a Professor of European Art History at the University of Ferrara, where she is also involved in the department of Cultural Heritage Management and Appraisal for the University Technopole, TekneHub. She is also on the Scientific Committee at the Renaissance Studies Institute.

For many years now, she has been researching Italian collecting from the Renaissance to the 19th centuryShe published a book on the Mattei collection (together with L. Testa, 1994) as well as several articles related to the missing collection which contributed to the rediscovery of a painting by Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ, which is now located in Dublin.

Her extensive archival research served to shape and restore order to the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome in 1996.

She studies the presence of foreign artists in Italy, particularly Caravaggisti, Flemish painters, and Austria painter Daniel Seiter. She has written numerous essays and organised an international congress on the origins of landscape painting, about which she published her book Paul Bril e la pittura di paesaggio a Roma, 1580-1630, Rome 2006.

She has been Scientific Director at the Fondazione Ermitage Italia Since 2007.

In 2009, she worked with the GRI (Getty Research Institute) in Los Angeles on two projects on the history of Italian collecting. One was completed in 2014 with the publication of the book Display of Art in Roman Baroque Palaces, by Gail Feigenbaum, and the other, with the online publication of the digital humanities project Pietro Mellini’s Inventory in Verses, which the American Alliance of Museums awarded one of the best digital research projects in 2017.

Since September 2012, she has been a member of the Mibact Council of Cultural Heritage, where she has been Vice President since 2014. She is also a member of the Scientific Committee of the Borghese Gallery and the Estensi Galleries.

Cappelletti formed part of the jury for selecting the Italian Capital of Culture for the years 2017 and 2018 at Mibact. Specifically, she contributed to the work of the CUN-CSBCP Commission in order to define a framework agreement on training and regional collaboration between the Mibact and the Miur.

She contributed to the organisation and catalogues for exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and was curator of the exhibition Nature et Idéal. Le paysage à Rome 1600-1650, Paris, Grand Palais, Madrid, Prado, 2011.

In 2014, she co-curated alongside Annick Lemoine, the exhibit Bassifondi del Barocco, displayed at the French Academy in Rome-Villa Medici and the Petit Palais in Paris. She also published a monographic volume on the palace and the Pallavicini Gallery.

In 2015, she formed part of the commission created by the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to open the Quirinale Palace on 23 June 2015.

She has organised international panels on collecting, portraying and decorating the Baroque palaces at the annual RSA (Renaissance Society of America) congresses for the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, she was co-curator with Giovanni Sassu, of the exhibit Carlo Bononi. L’ultimo sognatore dell’Officina ferrarese, in Ferrara, and published the monographic series Caravaggio for the Italian Encyclopaedia Giovanni Treccani.

Cappelletti has been guest curator for the past three years at the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris to prepare the exhibit Caravage à Rome. Amis et ennemis.

She is part of the managerial staff on the INCEPTION project – Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D Semantic Modelling, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme – Work Programme Europe in a Changing World. Inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies – Grant Agreement no. 665220.