The same day we visited the National Archaeological Museum we went up the hills of Naples to the Capodimonte Museum. We were on the hunt for a Caravaggio but also to see another gem of a museum. I was so excited when we came upon the Guido Reni painting of Atalanta and Ippomene. Why? Because it is the cover illustration for Richard E. Spear’s book on Reni, The Divine Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni and Spear taught at my alma mater Oberlin. Hurrah! I was never aware of where the painting lived and to discover it just hanging on the wall was thrilling.
The whole museum is filled with great paintings and drawings. If you have any interest in Michelangelo, Raphael, Masaccio, Botticelli, Perugino, Mantegna, Bellini, Jacopo de’Barberi, El Greco, Il Parmigianino, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Carracci, Goya, Francois Gerard, Angelika Kauffman, Elisabeth Vigee le Brun or Matteo di Giovanni, then you must visit Capodimonte. Thank goodness for the royals, rich families and papacy for commissioning and buying art.
We were fortunate to see the Caravaggio, Flagellation of Christ, c. 1607. The part of the building where it lives happened to open for a short time. There aren’t enough guards to keep it open (recurring theme) so you have to get lucky or time it right.
The grounds of the Capodimonte Museum are open to the public but we didn’t walk around. After spending the morning in two museums our brains needed rest and food.