The Antagonists – Rivalry in Art: Caravaggio vs Baglione
Rome 1603: the celebrated painters Caravaggio and Baglione meet before court. The issues are insults and the question who is the greater artist. For Caravaggio this encounter ends with imprisonment but everlasting fame and glory. And Baglione? Right up to this day he is still waiting for the restoration of his reputation as great master of the baroque period.
Rome 1603 – Giovanni Baglione (1566-1643) is painting a scene showing an angel in shining armour defeating naked Cupid. It is the triumph of the heavenly over the terrestrial Cupid. Every beholder immediately realizes that the conquered figure is derived from a painting by his great rival Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). The latter had just previously painted “Cupid as Conqueror” as a lascivious boy suggestively looking at the beholder. The struggle begins, ending with imprisonment and eternal fame and glory for Caravaggio. About the series: Two outstanding artists, one location, and an acrimonious rivalry – these are the key ingredients for the three-part series “The Antagonists: Rivalry in Art” which deals with envy and burning ambition, drive and the desire to reach new heights of artistic creation, as well as failure and the triumph of success. At the heart of each episode lies a conflict and a break with tradition that will eventually lead to innovation. Through their rivalry we will come to understand their real character and their true story will be revealed.