Wednesday, September 14, 2016


The syllables of his name are enough to dot my skin with goosebumps, but to see the traces of his hand in the lines of Goliath's brow— the sickly lips of Bacchus, the rosiness of so many fingertips— I was removed from my place in this world, brought to the darkest of shadows, and transversely, to the brightest of lights.

Earth and stone ground to dust, suspended in oil and pulled across a stretched cloth by bristles— that coloured dust forming the pale ridge of an eyelid, the half-moon of a cuticle.

Faces and their anguish so familiar, they feel like my own.

Caravaggio. David with the Head of Goliath. 1609–1610. Oil on canvas. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Caravaggio. Madonna with the Serpent. 1606. Oil on canvas. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Caravaggio. Sick Bacchus. 1593. Oil on canvas. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Caravaggio. The Inspiration of Saint Matthew. 1602. Oil on canvas. Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.


Beth said...

I'm hoping to make my first visit to Rome later this year, and these paintings are one reason why. Completely mind-blowing.

szaza said...

Did you get to Rome Beth? I hope so, it's a wonderful place. I missed my favourite Caravaggio though, Judith Beheading Holofernes— we ran out of time. It will be a treat the next time around! I hope you make that visit.

Beth said...

We definitely made it to Rome, and saw many (but not all) of the extraordinary Caravaggios in the city.He was an astounding painter and I was surprised and moved by the power still present in these works, and also, what good condition they're in.I can't wait to go back.

szaza said...

Oh I'm so glad you made it! I agree, the condition is remarkable, almost like they were painted yesterday. I can imagine the awe his work must have inspired in those who got to see them uncovered for the first time... Truly an incredible artist!