Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good Art

I first posted that picture over four years ago. It is Caravaggios' The Cardsharps. It's my second favorite painting and it makes its home right here in Fort Worth at the Kimbell Art Museum. On Saturday we went to The Kimbell to see the exhibit "Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome." I was excited to see more Caravaggio work. It was also fascinating to see the paintings of his students, followers and admirers.
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There are many reasons I love this type of art. Most people who have an interest in art have all sorts of different tastes. Impressionism is very popular as well as modern art. I really love the very old, very realistic paintings. I was thinking about this today and I think I figured it out. Most of the paintings in the exhibit were painted between 1590 and 1620. There are no photographs from that time so these realistic paintings give us a snapshot, if you will, into the past. Because such objects as an apple or a stein look almost photographic, I think it is safe to assume that the other objects (not the angels, of course) are also very realistic. And a lot of these old paintings feature books.
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Books were not commonly owned objects in that time and so I imagine that it was because they were special that they were included in so many paintings. They did not look like modern books. They were always curvy, wavy and somewhat crinkled. I paid particular notice to the books in the paintings. There were also some things in the paintings that were unidentifiable by me. I wish I could have asked someone what they were.
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I also got a big kick out of seeing from where the paintings had been loaned. There were paintings from all over Rome, some from Spain, at least one from The Louvre and even one from the museum in my home state of North Carolina. I've always thought it was fascinating how these great old paintings travel around the world. On the one hand, I am thrilled about it and on the other, it makes me nervous to think these fine old irreplaceable, delicate masterpieces could be damaged or lost forever.
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I guess I should just appreciate being able to see great artwork. I'm sure there are millions of people on the planet who have never seen great art. I'm lucky because I have seen my two favorite paintings. And of all of Caravaggio's work that I saw today, I still say The Cardsharps is his best.

4 comments:

lgsquirrel said...

I can understand why you like Caravaggio's work but I am a sucker for Impressionism and Seccessionist work. Still, I'd happily go to a gallery exhibit of Caravaggio's paintings.

haphazardlife said...

It is a beautiful painting. I love wandering around museums and looking a the paintings. My, preference, however goes to abstract art and surrealism. Magritte and Dali are particular favourites.

mrwriteon said...

Love that painting and you are indeed fortunate having access to a big city gallery with a worthy collection. I miss that horribly living in a smaller community.

geewits said...

LGS,
~ Art really is in the eye of the beholder. I really like the old stuff.

Jazz,
~Yeah, I knew that about you. I love how art is so different for everyone.

Ian,
~But you travel. I'm sure you get opportunities to see great works.