This week, the Asia Society in Hong Kong has proudly started exhibiting one of the world's most famous paintings: Supper at Emmaus, a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in 1606.
For the first time in Asia and for a strictly limited season (March 12-April 13), the exhibition Light and Shadows ?" Caravaggio ? The Italian Baroque Master will offer the unique opportunity to enjoy "one of the most famous paintings in the world, by one of the greatest artists of our time and a pioneer of modern painting".
As reminded by the Asia Society, "a haunting Baroque masterpiece, Supper at Emmaus (1605-06) was painted during a dark period in the artist's life when he was exiled after committing an act of manslaughter. It depicts Jesus Christ revealing himself to his disciples following his resurrection, in the town of Emmaus. It is a portrait of a flawed humanity, vulnerable to sin and expresses the artist's desire for salvation offered by faith in Christ".
Contemporary works by four local artists, Chow Chun-fai, So Hing-keung, Tsang Kin-wah, and Wucius Wong, will be also on display, with the aim of proving "how techniques found in Caravaggio's paintings were adopted centuries later".
This exhibition has been organized around four different themes: shadows, theatricality, mystery, and realism. They all illustrate "this exhibition illustrates different characteristics of Caravaggio's style, which were so influential that they shaped the painting practices of many later European artists. "Shadows emphasize aesthetic choices rooted in the European liturgical tradition of its time; [...] theatricality refers to the use of strong contrasts between light and darkness but also to the choice of powerful and simple gestures to accentuate the action of the painting; [...] mystery represents the sense of spirituality emanating from Caravaggio's paintings; [...] realism a characteristic of Caravaggio's painting that has had a profound influence on the whole of European art".