Caravaggio and the northern artists at Thyssen Museum



Michelangelo Merisi di Caravaggio (1571-1610) is one of the stars of the summer exhibitions in the capital. Owner of the shadows and chiaroscuro, fond of the foreshortening, his painting has deeply influenced in painters of France, Holland and Flanders, especially of the School of Utrecht, and this connection is the theme of the show thatThyssen-Bornemisza Museum has prepared from June 21 to September 18, 2016 (it will be a very "Caravaggian" summer because the Royal Palace also announced a retrospective of the painter at that time!)





Thyssen exhibition, with some 60 works -12 of them by the Lombardian master, from his Roman period to the most emotional and dark pieces of his last years - from private collections, museums and institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of NY, the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Dutch Rijksmuseum or San Pietro in Rome, portrays the mastery of Italian, its unique use of the brush in the service of hyperrealism, its evolution,and all the powerful influence he had on the painters of northern Europe: Dirk van Baburen, Gerrit van Honthorst, Hendrick ter Brugghen, Nicolas Regnier, Louis Finson, Simon Vouet, Claude Vignon or Valentin Boulogne.





Caravaggio and northern painters, curated by Gert Jan van der Sman, member of the Istituto Universitario di Storia dell'Arte Olandese in Florence (University of Utrecht), highlights the legacy of the Lombard artist and diversity of reactions caused by his painting.






If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.