New book about the conference dedicated to Caravaggio
02 / 08 / 2019

Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat (Editions of the Abbey of Montserrat) has published the new book 100 years of Caravaggio at Montserrat, which reunites six lectures that constituted the international study days organized by the Museum of Montserrat in June 2017 on the occasion of the Centenary of the arrival in Montserrat of Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome in Meditation. This book, coordinated by Artur Ramon Navarro and Clara Beltrán, has been edited thanks to the support of the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government). It has 220 pages and gathers the interventions –many of them expanded– by experts who participated in that conference. The book includes an English translation. It is profusely illustrated and also offers an extensive bibliography. Texts are written by Artur Ramon, Silvia Danesi-Squarzina, Gonzalo Redín, Rossella Vodret, Ana González Mozo and Gianni Papi, speakers of the congress, and there is also a chronology by Clara Beltrán.

The fortune of Saint Jerome in Meditation by Caravaggio in Montserrat is one of the most unique and relevant episodes in the history of our collecting. Coming from Rome, the painting was acquired in 1915 by Fr. Bonaventura Ubach with an attribution to José de Ribera lo Spagnoletto, and arrived at the monastery of Montserrat in 1917. Beyond the authorship, the painting was purchased for iconographic and decorative reasons, since that Father Ubach’s passion for Bible study led him to buy various paintings about St. Jerome. It took more than 30 years, thanks to the great Italian critic Roberto Longhi, helped by historian Joan Ainaud, to rediscover this masterpiece and include it in the great exhibition that he dedicated to the artist in 1951. It was the starting point of the historiographic rehabilitation of Caravaggio afterwards of centuries of oblivion.

Coinciding with the centenary of the arrival of Saint Jerome in Meditation by Caravaggio at Montserrat, on June 2 and 3, 2017, the Museum organized a first level scientific meeting that welcomed the main specialists in the field to deepen the analysis of the painting and its historical context. The result is collected and illustrated in this book, which addresses the state of the historiographic issue of this emblematic artwork of the Montserrat Museum, the one and only painting by Caravaggio in Catalan collections. The presentation of the book will take place on September 26 at the Artur Ramon art gallery in Barcelona.