"Caravaggio and His Cardsharps on Trial"
A Zoom Lecture by Emeritus Professor Richard Spear
Richard Spear is Mildred Jay Professor of Art History Emeritus at Oberlin and now Affiliate Research Professor at the University of Maryland. In addition to his long teaching career at Oberlin (1964-2000), he also directed the Allen Memorial Art Museum from 1972-1983. After retirement from Oberlin in 2000, he and his wife, artist Athena Tacha ’61, moved to the Washington, DC area.
A specialist in Italian baroque art, Richard is a leading authority on the work of Caravaggio and served as a key expert witness in an important trial in 2014 at the High Court of Justice in London where Sotheby's was sued over the authenticity of a version of Caravaggio's famous Cardsharps in the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth that was auctioned as a copy. Last spring, Richard published a book recounting the trial from his insider’s view, Caravaggio’s Cardsharps on Trial: Thwaytes v. Sotheby's. In his review of the book, Michael Dirda ’70 of the Washington Post, characterized Richard's work as “enthralling” and “a masterwork of Tacitus-like force, clarity and precision.”
In his talk, Richard will provide an overview of Caravaggio's work, an analysis of the extraordinary popularity of the work (what he calls “Caravaggiomania”), and an account of the trial.
Professor Spear will be introduced by Dr. Barbara Wolanin, former Curator for the Architect of the Capitol, A.B. ’66 and A.M. ’69 in art history.
For further information, contact Clyde Owan ’79 at: email@example.com.