Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Caravaggio

I quite like my art class.  We are learning about art history, and it really is interesting stuff.  It is just hard to pay attention sometimes because it is so early in the morning!  So, I haven't captured that much knowledge, but once my professor (who is extremely hilarious - I like him a lot) started talking about beheading people and oozing blood, I was suddenly awake.

What am I even talking about?  Let me tell you about this fine fellow named Caravaggio!  I keep thinking about him, so why not post about him, right?

Well, this guy was an Italian painter who lived in the late 1500s/early 1600s.  The guy was an absolute hooligan - he would run around town wielding swords and all other kinds of weapons, always trying to pick fights with the people he would pass.  He thought he could get away with anything because many of the authority figures commissioned his work.  But he had no sense of respect, throwing artichokes at the faces of waiters and cutting holes in the ceilings of his rented studios so that his paintings would fit!  Eventually the recklessness all added up when he accidentally killed a guy, and was therefore exiled.  How unfortunate!

But hey, the guy was a genius.  He basically created chiaroscuro.  Chiaroscuro is the style where they use sharp contrast between light and dark, resulting in extremely dramatic pieces.  I think it is way cool!

Caravaggio was good at what he did, but probably one of my favorite things about him was his obsession with beheading.  He was always painting people being beheaded, or just beheaded heads themselves.  It is kind of hilarious.  But it gets better - most every beheaded head was actually a self-portrait of himself!  Haha!

David With the Head of Goliath.  I love the compassionate look on David's face.

The morbidity doesn't end there, my friends.  It is fantastic to me that he used the blood dripping from a man's neck in this painting to sign his name...



You know, I feel like Caravaggio and I would get along quite nicely as long as he didn't try to slash my head off.  But isn't he awesome except for the fact that he killed someone?!  The guy needed some serious therapy, that's for sure, but probably most artistic geniuses do...

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