The Art Appreciation group met at Antonio’s bar in Canillas. The following questions were asked:
1. Caravaggio introduced real people into religious paintings. Does the group like this? Do we think he was a religious man or just a religious painter?
Yes, we all like ordinary people in religious paintings. It makes the stories realistic. It bring the point home. We all felt that we could put names to the faces. We loved his style and attention to detail. The hands and the faces were amazing. The people were alive. They looked like the person next door.
Andrew Graham Dixon explained that Caravaggio had a vast knowledge of the bible but most people did in those days. The Catholic Church provided most of the education. Also, the Catholic Church gave out commissions for Works of Art. They were the main employer so it was a case of knowing your market. Caravaggio was not a religious man in his personal life. He was a gifted, religious painter, but did not live a secular life.
2. Was he persecuted? Why?
He was chased by the Mafia because of his decadent life style and his affairs. He was considered to like both men and women sexually and therefore did not conform to the ideals of the Catholic Church, his main employer. He had a temper and a criminal record for things like getting the wrong sauce on his artichokes!! He was not a likeable man. A brilliant painter but not likeable.
3. Who killed him and where?
Everyone has different theories. Andrew Graham Dixon thought it was Mafia, Catholic Church and Knights of Malta conspiracy. I think it was Mafia. Other people think is was Knights of Malta. We will never know, but it is great fun to speculate. I must admit the more research I do, the more confused I get. This is like” Who killed JFK? “
This was a really enjoyable morning. People loved the book of Caravaggio’s works. I find it amazing that we have so different tastes in Art but love sharing our knowledge.
Constable in Love presented by Roger John Constable RA(1776 – 1837)
The same format was followed of DVD and discussion but Roger led the discussion about Constable in Love.
The film we saw was entitled “Constable in Love”. One might wonder what this has to do with the artist famous for his landscapes of Suffolk? Well, as we found, everything! It is true to say that if it was not for the love of his life, Maria Bicknell, we would not have been left with the all those famous paintings and Constable would not have been the artist we know and love. Constable was born an affluent corn merchant's son, but following amateur sketching trips in Suffolk and Essex (which formed the basis for a number of his paintings later) he developed his skill as an accomplished artist. He fell in love with Maria at an early age and corresponded with her over a number of years, but her family disapproved of the relationship. They did eventually marry in 1816 and from then on his most famous pieces were created as his love for her flowed in his paintings. They had seven children together, but she died in 1828 and his mood change his life and his paintings saying “...the world has totally changed for me.” He only sold about 20 paintings in England, but sold that many in just a few years in France, notably “The Haywain”. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1829 at the age of 52 and died on the 31st March 1837.
The next meeting is Gordon and Sue Kind who are presenting a DVD on Salvidor Dali. Wednesday the 12 November in Canillas and Wednesday 19 in El Morche. Both meetings are at 11am.
The future plans are December an outing to Malaga. January, February and March meetings are going to be lead by Myself, Roger and Maggie Silwood. We are sorting it out between us and will let you know. I am looking into Jack Vettriano, Maggie is considering Van Gogh and Roger is thinking about Reynolds. Good DVDs are very difficult to find. We have Van Gogh but I am searching for the others.
If you would like to present the DVD and lead the discussion, then let me know who your favourite artist is. I will try and source a DVD. At the moment, we have DVDs of Bernini, Rembrandt, Picasso and Rothko in The Power of Art series with Simon Schama available.
See you there. Thanks again for your enthusiasm and support