Monday, December 19, 2011

Di Roma a Londra

My best girlfriend, Elizabeth, and I will be visiting London 9th-16th March of this year. The kind and generous Anna of Amelia Raitte fame suggested a few yarn shops to visit, two of which are actually department stores! How I wish Macy's and Marshall Field's sold Rowan and Debbie Bliss merchandise like John Lewis and Liberty does.

Next week I will travel to Indianapolis to view the newly renovated IMoA. Whence last I was there, much of the building was shrouded in plastic, though I still had the priveledge of viewing a Caravaggio, one of my personal idols. Since then, I have travelled to Rome and Florence to view more of his work. I remember fondly the hot, sunny day in July I first laid eyes on his 1599 works.

Rome was so hot and humid that summer. At 115 F (46 C), I was constantly sweating, and more than a little grumpy. I was also terribly ill- I had caught a respiratory infection on the 12 hour plane ride and could not rid myself of the virus. I walked through the Campo di Fiori and its' winding medeval streets, sniffling and seeking San Luigi dei Francesi, the French church of St. Lewis. Finally, I found the dark exterior outside a cobbled street and entered, trying to ignore the pleas of an old gypsy begging for coin. My eyes could not dialiate quickly enough to the dark, smoky church. I stood inside the doorway, breathing in the stale air. It smelled of sweet insence and hundreds of years and thousands of footsteps. Finally my eyes adjusted and I took in the interior of the church.

The Contarelli Chapel is in the very back of the church, and many people stood in hushed silence around the tiny nave. I walked up to chapel and gasped. Here, not 30 feet from my person, were three huge paintings by Michelangelo Merisi, the man I call Caravaggio. To describe the beauty of the paintings here would be an offense to Caravaggio's genius. Instead, I will give you images that can give you an idea:

The Inspiration of St. Matthew

The Calling of St. Matthew

The Martyrdom of St. Matthew

I had to be led out of the church by hand, I was so stunned by the mastery of form and media. I was humbled. Could I ever paint again without remembering this moment? Would my images ever inspire such awe?

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