‘Astonishing, luminous beauty’: readers’ cultural highlights in Europe

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The secrets to ancient Greek innovations, art in its rightful place, and gorgeous statues and views from Dublin to Albania

Commissioned in the early 1600s by the Order of St John in Malta, Caravaggio’s masterpiece, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, has been hung in St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta, ever since. It is rare to view a painting in the space intended by the artist, in this case the Oratory, a place of prayer, rather than the modern exhibition hall. And so it felt an enormous privilege to experience this masterpiece, which is immense – 520 x 370cm – along with Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome Writing in the silence of the Oratory, and all for €15.
Sara Godfrey

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