The Watson Gordon Lecture 2016; Caravaggio and Cupid: Homage and Rivalry in Rome and Florence (hardback)

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National Galleries of Scotland
Dr Helen Langdon
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Hardback book to accompany The Watson Gordon Lecture 2016; Caravaggio and Cupid: Homage and Rivalry in Rome and Florence. Caravaggio's astonishingly naturalistic and provocative Cupid Victorious hung in the palace of a famous family at the heart of seventeenth-century Rome. Helen Langdon explores how the artist, famed for his originality, created a balance between a suggestion of his own world – a world of lively and rowdy street life – and a complex and ambiguous response to both ancient and Renaissance art and literature.

Langdon also looks at the challenge the painting threw out to contemporary painters, whose world was characterised by extreme and bitter rivalries; often they reject his irony, sometimes embellish the painting's sexuality, and at other times convey an opposing sense of the harmony of the arts.

Dr Helen Langdon is a writer, scholar and curator, and the former Assistant Director of the British School at Rome.


The Watson Gordon Lectures, established in 2006, typify the long-standing collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the National Galleries of Scotland.
Each lecture is by a leading scholar and reveals new research on a focused topic. The lectures are delivered and published annually; this will be the tenth in the series.