Archive for December, 2011

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Pound for pound, Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Caravaggio: A Life Sacred And Profane, the shipping weight is 2.2 pounds, will give a lover of art more value than the best of fruit cakes or a heavily handicapped Tiffany bobble.  What you don’t know about the painter and what you have yet to learn about viewing his work could fill a book and it has.  This is a biography to keep.  Put it on your e-reader if you are traveling and expect to see his work.

Because it is the Christmas season I selected for illustration The Adoration of the Shepherds and to prove a point.  Look carefully at the painting, then tell me if you see anything false or fanciful.  Describe the faith of the artist; no, not an easy task for anyone but made more likely by Graham-Dixon’s masterful research, interpretation, and speculation.

There is, I am sorry to write, a very big drawback with the book.  The illustrations are far too small and too dark to follow the author as he explains what Caravaggio painted and why.  You will need a companion volume showing the paintings to better advantage to get the full thrust of the scholarship.  Or, turn to the internet for the illustrations.

Whatever you do, make this your Caravaggio Christmas.  Charles Marlin

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