Still here, rambling on…(and some Caravaggio)

Hello, my lovelies!
It’s an age since last I gifted to the world my perspicacious insight (read “facetious ranting to minimal effect”) on matters artisitic, but to be honest there’s not been much that’s grabbed my attention.
I did consider adding my two-pennyworth on our Damien’s latest ‘Verity’ monstrosity, but the vitriolic, almost spiteful attacks against it – and him – by all and sundry have left me disinclined to jump back on this juggernaut of a bandwagon.
To wit: from today’s Guardian, Peter Duggan’s Artoon:

Too cruel.
Besides, if you didn’t think he was a cack-handed, talent-free zone twenty years ago, IT’S TOO LATE NOW, you ridiculous, fad-following, tightly-tousered numpty.

Anyways…
This post isn’t for you, it’s for me.
By complete accident/serendipity/whatevs I stumbled upon a really wonderful (to me) short but beautifully articulated talk by Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King’s College, London, part of BBC Radio 3’s The Essay series on Caravaggio from a couple of years ago.
He talks about The Taking of Christ:

The Calling of St Matthew:

and about how the painter uses light, dark, space to lend these great, great works their huge emotional/religious impact; creating a kind of ‘God of the Gaps’ to which even a godless heathen like me cannot fail to respond.
Some BBC accompanying blurb:

“Tonight’s essay… maintains that in his great religious paintings such as The Calling of St. Matthew and The Raising of Lazarus Caravaggio is a master of capturing movement and the vibrancy of exchange. Furthermore, it is contended that in depicting exceptional relations between people and things in his religious works, the artist who espoused a turbulent and morally doubtful way of life, came as near as is possible in painting to representing God.”

Listen to Professor Quash (great name: In the Bathroom! With the Loofah!) here.

As I say, this is really for me: a way of keeping something rather marvellous to hand. I hope you enjoy it, but if not, no matter.
See you again when I can think of something vaguely interesting to say.

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PS If you did enjoy it, here‘s another one by another Light of My Life and tip-top Caravaggio scholar Andrew Graham-Dixon, in which he talks about the painter’s dramatic last years: the ‘murder’, his time as a Knight of Malta… and, not least, his legacy and influence on those great artists who came after.
What’s not to love?

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6 thoughts on “Still here, rambling on…(and some Caravaggio)

  1. “Furthermore, it is contended that in depicting exceptional relations between people and things in his religious works, the artist who espoused a turbulent and morally doubtful way of life, came as near as is possible in painting to representing God.”

    Finding God in a pit of Godlessness…. you’re right. He NEEDS a movie. Bad too. Do not let me forget this. I am embarking on my first script-writing collaboration with a dear friend… I don’t think it’s fit for our first, but we’ve got darkly sensibilities, and an interestingly symbiotic history with religion that I think would be informative and challenging for a future treatment. You could be our resident expert.

    Glad to have you back.

    • Oooh, yes please. There’s so much meat with Caravaggio from whichever angle you want to take it – art, religion, sexualty, ethics, philosophy, crime, drama, thrills, psychology – it’s all there. ‘Darkly sensibilities’ is right, and totally where I’m at when I’m not helping grannies cross the road. Keep me posted…

  2. Love this Glen. I wasn’t aware of the latest Hirst abomination (what is his problem?) and I appreciate the contrast with the master. I really do need to delve into Caravaggio more… perhaps over the summer.

    Thanks

    • Cheers, Ryan! Yes, you do! Probably mentioned it before, but AGD’s ‘A Life Sacred and Profane’ is as good a start as any. Also a cracking good read, regardless of the art. He certainly saw life, old Caravaggio.

  3. Glennie, I’m glad you finally posted and that too about Caravaggio whose work is sublime! Thanks for posting up links to the talk…And oh I do enjoy your wry posts on Hirst as well, they have me cackling aloud.

  4. What a lovely comment to find! Thank you! I’ve lost my bloggy mojo a bit at the mom, and Real Life has interfered somewhat, but I had to nail those talks down because the Beeb has removed them from its site. Idiots.
    Thanks again – you’ve proper cheered me up! 🙂

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