Day 2 in Rome: Lots of Caravaggios but one missing

In more or less chronological order of Caravaggio’s works and not how we saw them.

In the Doria Pamphilj, his private commissions for rich buyers:

From the right: one of his many St John the Baptist, Rest on the Flight to Eygpt and Penitent Mary Magdalene. The naturalism,ie, realistic looking people and objects, and the pulling of the subjects close to the forefront are developing as part of his innovations. Also the reduced background is starting to be seen in the Mary Magdalene.

His first public commissions in the Contarelli Chapel and Cerasi Chapel, I wrote of in my earlier blog.

Crucifixion of Peter
Conversion of Paul


We also looked at the street where he once live, now much more upscale. Rome at this time had a large number of poor people.


His next public commission was for the church of Sant’Agostino, one of the pilgrimage churches in Rome. There are 7 pilgrimage churches in Rome. If you visited all 7 within 3 days, you received a perpetual indulgence, which helped you get to heaven faster. His Madonna di Loreto was popular with the people although dirty feet displeased some.

All of these churches are within reasonable walking distance of each other. We then took a bus to the Vatican picture gallery, Pinacoteca, only to discover that the Caravaggio Deposition was removed as it is being readied to send to St. Petersburg, Russia.  I must be cursed. This keeps happening to me. When we went to Dublin, the Caravaggio was gone; when we went to Milan, the Caravaggio was gone, now this!! The tour director offered me a free flight home before any more paintings were unexpectedly missing. This was what we wanted to see, which some consider Caravaggio’s finest work:

This was what we saw:

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