21 December 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing?

No season brings out the baroque quite like Christmas.  Does it warm your heart or wear on you?


eyedias said...

On the one hand, the story of how one artist has influenced another's artistic direction, opening up new tools of expression to an entire new generation of artists is always fascinating. On the other hand, Caravaggio's career is a stark reminder of what kind of personalities have contributed to our contemporary beliefs in a powerful way. After all, his paintings in Rome's churches were not commissioned simply for their decorative value.

Sometimes knowing a bit more about the artist's life gives you more sympathy for their struggle. Sometimes it has the same effect as finding out what really goes into your sausages. Of course, if the sausages look good, and we're hungry enough, the temptation to ignore the rumors and chow down on the message being served up can be great.

Let's not be too hard on the artist-priests, though. After all, Caravaggio didn't invent Christmas, politicians together with church leaders did. Bon appetit.

Nick said...

And I do think the context is critical. In Naples, the baroque seems a much better fit than it might under a Christmas tree in the 'burbs.