Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy introduces the work of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), one of the most popular artists of the past, rivaling in fame both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The stories of Caravaggio's life are legend, more myth than history, describing traits of personality, including passion and brutality, that came to describe the unique qualities of his work. He revolutionized painting in Rome at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century. The exhibition, made up of 56 works in all, including a record eight works by Caravaggio himself, covers the evolution of his style. Caravaggio's legacy is expressed in work by about twenty artists from Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands who carried into the late 17th century the strangeness, beauty and raw emotion of his work.
This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Musée Fabre de Montpellier Agglomération, the Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, under the auspices of FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange). The Los Angeles presentation was made possible by The Ahmanson Foundation. The national tour was made possible in part by Sotheby’s, the Annenberg Foundation/GRoW Annenberg, the Robert Lehman Foundation, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities
The exhibition is presented under the auspices of "2013: Year of Italian Culture." The installation was designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects.