Caravaggio from the Vatican now on display at the Prado in Madrid for World Youth Day

Caravaggio from the Vatican now on display at the Prado in Madrid

July 27, 2011. ( In a first for the world of art, ‘The Descent’ by Caravaggio is visiting Spain. The Vatican Museums have loaned the painting to the Prado Museum in Madrid for World Youth Day. It will take part in the exhibition ‘The Word made image’ which consists of 14 masterpieces on the life of Christ.

Along with this piece by Caravaggio, visitors can see works such as ‘Christ crucified’ by Velázquez, ‘The Resurrection’ from El Greco, ‘The Trinity’ by Ribera, ‘Agnus Dei’ by Zurbarán’ and ‘The Good Shepherd’ by Murillo.

The Flemish School of Art will be well represented with ‘The Descent from the Cross’, by Van der Weyden and ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ by Rubens. Among the works of Italian masters is ‘The Annunciation’ by Fra Angelico, ‘The Washing’ by Tintoretto and ‘Jesus among the doctors in the Temple’ by Veronese.

The exhibit will open from July 21 until September 18. During World Youth Day, from August 16th to the 21st all the young pilgrims can enjoy free access to the Prado. And to accommodate the number of visitors, the museum will be open until midnight.

This exhibit is one of the 300 cultural programs for World Youth Day and is one of the three major exhibitions. The other two include ‘Encounters’, an exhibit on religious paintings from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. As well as a contemporary art exhibit ‘Art and Faith’ in the Pons Foundation of Madrid.

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22 Responses to Caravaggio from the Vatican now on display at the Prado in Madrid for World Youth Day

  1. annem040359 says:

    Best wishes to all the young people who will be in Madrid for WYD next month, including 9 from my parish. God Bless them.


  2. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Bless ’em all, the long and the short and the tall….

    They will like the Spanish people, very nice.


  3. toadspittle says:


    To say The Flemish School will be “well represented” is putting it mildly with the presence of Van Der Weyden’s “Deposition.”

    That picture alone is worth a trip to Madrid, (where it lives) or anywhere in the world, to see, thinks Toad.
    The only greater painting in his humble, (make that arrogant) opinion is Las Meninas. But that’s OK, because it’s just down the corridor anyway.

    (That’s enough art. Might nip down for the Caravaggio, though. He could daub a bit)


  4. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Fine assertion, Daot, but you don’t tell us why these pictures are great.

    I think we should be told..


  5. toadspittle says:


    Impossible. And it’s all a matter of taste, anyway.


  6. Gertrude says:

    Not just good taste Toad, this is great art – wish I lived nearer as I would love to see the Carravagio


  7. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    OK, Odat, fair enough. I agree actually – it’s a matter of opinion.
    I like vanilla ice cream, because it’s the best.

    Gert, does ‘good taste’ mean taste which agrees with yours?


  8. toadspittle says:


    Toad didn’t actually say, ‘good’ taste – just taste. Good taste is, he thinks, to do with socks, ties and wallpaper, not art.
    However, this is but a quibble and Gertrude is spot on, as usual.
    So, Toad will hop down to Mad. for the day. Silly and lazy not to.
    But he’ll wait ’til the Pope’s flown, the tumult has subsided, and the caravan moved on.
    Carravagios are rare.
    Little old men are two a peseta round here.
    Anyway, if Toad wants to see one, he only has to look in the mirror. (a little old man, that is, not a Carravagio.)


  9. Gertrude says:

    Mr. Whippy: No, good taste does not mean agreeing with me, or anyone else for that matter. I do not take exception to your remarks, but some of your comments yesterday are bordering on ‘rude’, particularly on the St. Martha thread.

    We have always welcomed comment, and, do not moderate unless absolutely necessary, but we also expect our commenters to respect other peoples views and not to make personal remarks. Disagree with a point someone is making by all means – that is debate and interaction,as is some of the playful banter you see with Toad (who often makes very valid points) but remarks about ‘ladies’ lavatories, and car crashes. are not welcome.


  10. Mr Badger says:

    The exhibit will open from July 21 until September 18. During World Youth Day, from August 16th to the 21st all the young pilgrims can enjoy free access to the Prado. And to accommodate the number of visitors, the museum will be open until midnight.

    It’s excellent that this is being done.

    but remarks about ‘ladies’ lavatories, and car crashes. are not welcome.

    Well in that case, my next comment (1500 words in draft form) is right back to square one. Really, Gertrude, what can we talk about 😉


  11. Gertrude says:

    Absolutely anything Badger. Just try not to insult!! (Our Editor tends to get pernickety) 😉


  12. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Oh dear G,

    I was only teasing – but it seems that humour doesnt always travel well, and my sense of humour is not yours. Mea culpa, te culpa. Perhaps we don’t share the same background. I also find that we don’t all think the same; vive la difference! Please don’t inject into my words something which isn’t there, eg. “rudeness”. It is impossible to guess what others may object to, and I try to adapt to the ways of others. I too have found some stuff on the site less than welcome to me, but that’s just fine. Otherwise I’d live on a desert island.

    I’m glad you don’t take exception to my remarks about taste, nor should you, because I was making a point which wasn’t personal, but general, about the imposition of our own standards as if they were universal. Nothing to do with you as an individual.

    And yes, Toad did not say “good taste” , nor did I suggest that he did. I hoped he might tell us why the painting was so good. In vain. I hope he enjoys the paintings.


  13. Gertrude says:

    Bless Whippy. It wasn’t the comments to me, but those to an.other. End of matter don’t you think?


  14. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Not really.



  15. toadspittle says:


    Gertrude, if some one can put the two pictures on a ‘thread,’ Toad, while not ‘explaining’ why they are so good, will happily tell CP&S a few things about each which might interest others or potential visitors to the Prado..


  16. Mr Badger says:

    Descent by Van der Weyden

    Entombment by Caravvaggio


  17. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Toad and Mr B,

    No reductive ‘explaining’ is looked for, only comments on why these works interest/attract you, since they are topical here. My connection with art history/criticism is minimal, but for me, it opened a new way of looking/appreciating. I like to read of what others think of works of art.


  18. Mr Badger says:

    Las Meninas


  19. Mr Badger says:

    Picasso painted dozens of re-creations of Las Meninas, it might be interesting to try and dig some up.

    Though none compare with his Aftermath of a provocative comment by Toad on on CP&S


  20. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Are you sure?
    I think particularly of “Man Holding a Stripey Creature” , done during the Blue Period.


  21. toadspittle says:


    Now Toad must follow up on his promise.
    Mr.Badger has very kindly given a link to the Deposition by Van Der Weyden. above. Our thanks. The version shown is not quite accurate, as the original has a beautifully painted “wooden” frame all around it. But one can still see, in the corners, painted ‘carved’ wood details. If you look closely, you will see they resemble crossbows. This is because The Guild of Crossbowmen comissioned this painting. It is also why both Christ and his Mother adopt very similar poses, like a crossbow. The whole thing takes place in a “wooden” box no more than say 4 feet deep. This means no distracting background and total emphasis on the figures who exist in a claustrophobic space of extreme, intense, emotion.
    The man at the top of the cross has to incline his head just to squeeze into the picture.
    The cross is impossible, scarcely wider than Christ’s shoulders. Not important in this picture. Mary has fainted and is whiter than her son. But she will recover. This is probably the only picture of a dead Christ where there is scarcely a drop of blood to be seen. The skull and bone apparently represent Adam, already dead at the same spot. Mary Magdalene is at Chris’s feet as before. The picture is very big by medaevil standards, about 8 feet wide by 7 high. The people are virtually life size. Very rare for then.

    Wiill that do? 50 guineas, please.
    A site called, “The Web Gallery of Art” has a better reproduction. But this is not a complaint.


  22. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Mr T.
    49 guineas in the post.


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