I have three favorite artists—Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Klee. There are some others that take second place but these are my faves.
I have had the privilege of seeing a retrospective of Klee’s work at the Menil some years ago–there was a large group of art students there lounging about–and I really wanted to ask them to leave–they were chatting and texting and doing everything but looking at the artwork–.
Then there was the Caravaggio and friends in Fort Worth–just a few pieces of his–and none of my favorites but the museum was populated by serious connoisseurs–no-one was texting or chatting or just wandering aimlessly.
And Thursday I went to see Michelangelo and the Vatican. There were only two pieces–both cartoons; the rest were all copies of his work by others. Apparently he made cartoons or patterns for sale--and the one depicted was of Venus being kissed by Cupid–painted several times by other painters. There was the one cartoon of a Roman soldier in preparation for the painting of the martyrdom of St. Peter–pinpricked for copying onto the freshly plastered wall.
Pope Paul Frances II by Titian
Pope Paul Frances II as a cardinal before becoming Pope by Raphael
Although I like history and have learned various timelines–I did not realize that Martin Luther and his tenets, Pope Paul Frances II–an art afficionado, Michelangelo, and the Council of Trent were all contemporaneous. Martin Luther’s view of religion being for the common man may well have influenced Caravaggio’s less romantically idealized figures.
Tomorrow: Jodpur India