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.

Documentary D, 2017, 52 min.

A film by: Andreas Gräfenstein
Author: Andreas Gräfenstein, Lucie Tamborini
DOP: Philipp Baben der Erde
Sound: Robert Sandow
Editing: Anne Kliem
Animation: Andreea Wende, Michael Wende, Tom Degel
Voice: Hansi Jochmann
Postproduction: Franziska Frahm
Colour Grading: Jan Hartmann
Sound-Editing: Jörn Steinhoff
Production Management: Maximilian Reich
Producer: Bernhard von Hülsen, Maria Willer
Commissioning Editor (ZDF): Dieter Schneider

Produced by 3B-Produktion GmbH, commissioned by ZDF in co-production with Arte.
©2017 ZDF/3B Produktion

International Distribution: Windrose