Monday, July 9

A Book About Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ

My Acrylic of the Italian Countryside
As It May Have Looked During Caravaggio's
 Lifetime (Copyright 2008)
Last night I just finished reading a book about the recovery of a lost painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. If you like art history and reading about painters and paintings, then I think you will like this book.

It's The Lost Painting, The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr, published in 2005 by Random House.

The story, which is told more or less chronologically, recounts how several people and events in Italy and Ireland came about to re-discover Caravaggio's original masterpiece, The Taking of Christ.

In addition to following the detective-like story of the whereabouts of the painting during the last 400 years, Harr also provides a very good history and telling of the major events of Caravaggio's life and death as an artist.

In a previous blog I wrote in 2010, I said that I didn't care much for Caravaggio's work because of the coarse subject matter in many of his paintings, such as gushing blood and severed heads. It is off-putting to say the least, at least it was to me.

However, in life things change and so has my opinion after reading this book. After seeing the beautiful painting on the cover jacket of the book and looking in other books and online, I now appreciate the greatness of Caravaggio.

The painting is so beautifully rendered that to see it in person must be breath-taking. If you look at the painting and read the book, then I think you may remember when Harr recounts Francesca's thought after seeing the restoration, "The light-it was always the light in Caravaggio's paintings that astonished her."

I believe that says it all.

If you are a painter in any medium, you will be inspired. If you'd like to see the painting, here's a link to a YouTube video,

Keep On Painting

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