18 September 2012-20 January 2013. A year after his death, Palazzo Reale pays homage to the British patron of the arts Sir Denis Mahon (1910-2011), illustrious historian of Italian art and great collector.
This exhibition, entitled From Guercino to Caravaggio, brings together a great selection of masterpieces coming from prestigious international museums, such as the Hermitage in St Petersburg. The exhibition displays Mahon’s collection of baroque paintings by Italian artist Caravaggio, Guercino and Guido Reni. In 1934 Mahon travel to Italy for the first time to study the Baroque.
During the 1930s and 1940s he formed his extraordinary collection of baroque paintings, which were then available on the market at reasonable prices. In 2001 he donated the famous Christ crowned with Thorns by Guido Reni to the National Art Gallery of Bologna and in 2002 he was given and honorary degree by the University of Bologna. Mahon’s great merit was to have brought Italian baroque painters to the attention of English-speaking audiences, reversing the critical aversion to their work that had prevailed throughout the 19th century and the beginning of the 1900s, thanks to the criticism of John Ruskin (1819-1900), leading English art critic of the Victorian era.