Caravaggio, a colorful character

I had my difficulties with the Group Writing project over at Middlezone musings: “What I learned from Colorful Characters”. Not that I don’t know a colorful character, there’s one definitely among my friends, but writing about my learning experience in connection with this dear friend of mine would have been quite a personal affair, and I did not want that.

So time went by, and I could not find anything sensible to write. On Saturday my inner muse suddenly attacked me and at the end of the weekend I had produced a Squidoo page on the Italian artist Caravaggio.

Now, if that was not a colorful man I don’t know what colorful is! He lived at the end of the 16th century in Italy, and instead of celebrating man in his beauty like Michelangelo did he painted man as he saw him on his daily walks through the Italian suburbs. He was the first to paint a “Sick young Bacchus” (you will find the painting on the squidoo page) – either sick from a disease or sick from drinking too much. One of his last paintings shows the victory of David over Goliath – David holding Goliath’s head in his outreached arm. The face of Goliath is a self-portray of Caravaggio.

He painted the scene on the year he died. He had murdered a man in a brawl and had been outlawed. Some art historians say that in portraying himself as the “bad guy” he wanted to get the permission to return to Naples.

What did that teach me? Well, I learned that a man can be a great artist and a questionable character at the same time. Would he have been the same great artist had he lived a “normal” life?

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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

One response to “Caravaggio, a colorful character”

  1. Robert Hruzek says :

    The fact is, many great artists were in fact quite colorful characters! Maybe that’s what gave them such inspiration to see things in their own particular way.

    Great lesson, Ulla!

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