Tuesday, September 11, 2012



Caravaggio died in a mysterious death at a young age
google image

The Sacrifice Of Issac by  Carivaggio                 google image

The answer is yes!  Sometimes we are elevated beyond ourselves.  In the case of Caravaggio, it is possibly very true.  Here is a synopsis of his life from Wikipedia below.  It appears he was difficult to get along with, always looking for a fight to get into, and killed a young man in a brawl.  But his work was brilliant, he can show emotion and suffering so dramatically in his work.  We can easily be moved by his paintings and his evident empathy with those suffering. It is hard to wrap our minds around that.  Van Gogh was a difficult man, found it hard to interrelate to people, and often psychotic.  He could be violent and angry.  But he is now one of the most famous of artist...his work is colorful and delightful.
So how did these men and other artist work on such a high level and their work become brilliant inspite of themselves?  Is there another level we reach when we open ourselves to the ideas and visions that come to us when we approach our art?  Are we elevated in above our own nature?  It is a question worth pondering and worth discussion.  

"An early published notice on him, dating from 1604 and describing his lifestyle three years previously, tells how "after a fortnight's work he will swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side and a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, so that it is most awkward to get along with him."[3] In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.
Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. Despite this, his influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from the ruins of Mannerism was profound. It can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of RubensJusepe de RiberaBernini, and Rembrandt, and artists in the following generation heavily under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques", as well as Tenebrists or "Tenebrosi" ("shadowists"). Andre Berne-Joffroy, Paul Valéry's secretary, said of him: "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting."[4]"

Van Gogh with Bandaged Ear
Van Gogh
quote from Wikipedia on Van Gogh's struggles
In January 1879, he took a temporary post as a missionary in the village of Petit Wasmes[note 5] in the coal-mining district of Borinage in Belgium. Taking Christianity to what he saw as its logical conclusion, van Gogh lived like those he preached to, sleeping on straw in a small hut at the back of the baker's house where he was staying. The baker's wife reported hearing van Gogh sobbing at night in the hut. His choice of squalid living conditions did not endear him to the appalled church authorities, who dismissed him for "undermining the dignity of the priesthood." He then walked to Brussels,[30] returned briefly to the village of Cuesmes in the Borinage, but gave in to pressure from his parents to return home to Etten. He stayed there until around March the following year,[note 6] a cause of increasing concern and frustration for his parents. There was particular conflict between Vincent and his father; Theodorus made inquiries about having his son committed to the lunatic asylum at Geel.[31][note 7]
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