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Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Speed Art Museum Brings Rare Caravaggio Masterpiece to America the Fortune Teller on View for a Limited Time, May 18 through June 5, 2011

Louisville, Kentucky. The Speed Art Museum announces that it will bring a masterwork by the artist Caravaggio to the United States.  Coming from the world-renowned Capitoline Museums in Rome, The Fortune Teller (1595) is one of the most highly regarded paintings by this legendary artist whose work is rarely ever seen outside of Italy.  In May and early June, it will be one of the few works by Caravaggio on view anywhere in the United States.  The exhibition of this masterpiece was organized by the Speed Art Museum in association with the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture in New York (FIAC).  Additional assistance was provided by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Kimbell Art Museum.  The Speed Art Museum is deeply grateful to the Capitoline Museums and Picture Gallery for making one of its most important treasures available to American art lovers.
This rare artwork will be on view in Louisville from May 18 until June 5, 2011.  As a gesture of gratitude to the Capitoline Museums and the Italian Government, the Speed and the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture have made it possible for the painting to be exhibited at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York from May 11 to 15, 2011.  A symposium on Caravaggio at New York’s Hunter College of the City University of New York on Friday, May 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  will also be part of the festivities surrounding the visit of this great painting to the United States.
Dr. Charles L. Venable, Director and CEO of the Speed Art Museum remarked about the Caravaggio project, “We at the Speed are thrilled to be working with our international partners to bring to America this early masterpiece by one of the most important ground-breaking painters in the history of European art.  The presentation of The Fortune Teller is part of our new Masterpiece Series and an outgrowth of our commitment to enhancing the art experiences we bring the public—which includes a major expansion of our facility as well as new acquisitions, loans, and collaborations with cultural partners. Having the opportunity to work with FIAC to present the work in New York as well as our community is deeply gratifying.”
The Fortune Teller, which depicts a Gypsy girl reading the palm of a young man as she surreptitiously slips a gold ring from his finger, will serve as the centerpiece for a small focus exhibition that demonstrates the influence of the Italian master on other artists working in Italy, Flanders, and the Netherlands during the early 17th century. Caravaggio’s insistence on heightened realism and the sculptural qualities of his figures, often brightly lit against a dark background, are evident in works from the Speed’s collection such as Gerard Douffet’s Ecce Homo, Nicolas Tournier’s Dice Players, and Hendrick van Somer’s Saint Jerome.  The diffusion of Caravaggio’s style throughout Europe will be immediately apparent in the two other works included in the Louisville exhibition, both from the Speed’s collection: Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Forty-Year-Old Woman, possibly Marretje Corneliszdr. Van Grotewal and Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck’s Portrait of a Man.