Friday, January 27, 2006

Two New Caravaggios Discovered!

I just finished reading Jonathan Harr's superb The Lost Painting.

The book is the story, told by Harr masterfully as an art detective story of sorts, of the discovery of Caravaggio's The Taking of the Christ in a Jesuit residence in Ireland.
Caravaggio's The Taking of the Christ
I strongly recommend it if:
(a) you like a detective story,
(b) want to learn a little about Caravaggio's life and
(c) want to learn a lot about restoring a painting.

Also note how even great masters can make an error when dealing with the figure. Look at the painting and then observe how the arm of Judas, as it hugs Christ and is partially covered by the metal-clad arm of the Roman guard, is way too short as the foreshortening has been completely screwed up by Caravaggio. Maybe that's why he's looking so intently at the scene (Caravaggio is the man holding the light in the extreme right of the painting).

But now (thanks AJ), the BBC tells us that: "Art historians have spoken of their shock and delight after two paintings discovered in a French church were found to be by old master Caravaggio. Pilgrimage of Our Lord to Emmaus and Saint Thomas Putting his Finger on Christ's Wound have hung in the town of Loches for nearly two centuries."

Read the story here.

No comments: