In the middle of all my painting I took time to watch a program called Portrait of an Artistic Genius: Caravaggio on Wealth TV. As I said in a previous blog, the name of this channel, Wealth TV, is horribly pretentious in my opinion. In addition to their shows on art, which I admit to liking (or at least viewing), they have the usual shows about travel, hotels, homes, etc. for people who wish they had access to all that. Remember that old show called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? I suppose it’s kind of like that.
But I digress. The Caravaggio show is in a series called Portrait of An Artictic Genius. So far, I’ve discovered two others on Rembrandt and Renoir, although I haven’t seen them yet.
Anyway, the hour-long Caravaggio program was informative. In addition to his life as a painter, it discussed his ups and downs—he was arrested for murder and was a fugitive for years and died when he was 38.
His art was extraordinary for his day. He single-handedly introduced high contrast of light and shadow into painting, which was brand new back then. I suppose many people still like his work today.
That’s my question and the subject of today’s blog: Do you like Caravaggio's work?
I’ve decided I don’t. His technique is fantastic, but the subject of many of his paintings is pretty awful, as in “I don’t like them.”
It's not the Renaissance-looking religious aspect of his style either. It's that there are at least three, and probably more, in which a man’s head is being severed with blood gushing forth. The one I remember the most, and will probably have nightmares about, is Judith Beheading Holofernes. Go online, look it up, and see for yourself.
And I'm not particularly squeamish either. Oh well, just my opinion.
Until next blog…