Among the Flemish darkness …the Caravaggio’s lute player

DSC02005 Continuing to the next gallery, there are my fellow  countrymen: Tiepolo with the battle of Vercelli, the Canova Cupid and Psyche Jacques Louis David and with the death of Socrates. I see him there – a certain effect, since I studied it in high school remains.

At the beginning, David thought to represent  the philosophy  of the time, of incurring the unjust death sentence for making ungodliness  to the gods and corrupting the youth. But under the suggestion of Trudaine, the client, the subject was final – as it was in the last moments of Socrates, when with dignity and impassiveness, he  accepts his fate. It shows, that as a good citizen of Athens, he accepts  the course of justice without opposing it. The painting expresses fully, the increased attention in the neoclassical period. This was characterized by shifting to the moral and civic values that were bestowed to the classical Greek and Roman cultures; in clear contrast to the costumes more and more ‘relaxed and vicious  of the aristocratic class, of contemporary art.DSC02006

I continue. which to me are  the disappointing Dutch painters, examples such as Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer van Delft, Albert Cuyp, and Maes. It’s disappointing, because usually Dutch and Flemish paintings, mostly represent  nobles and famous people at that time, or unusual wacky characters, or flows into the religion. Not to mention the austere colors that tend to be dark with characters always dressed in black or dull colors.

However, I am struck by the triptych, ‘ The Penitence of Saint Jerome’, by  Joachim Patinir. It follows the tradition of the Netherlands: large sacred figures dominate the foreground: Christ, who was baptized in the Jordan River, St. Jerome and Anthony the Hermit (shown with the monsters that assailed him). The real subject of the picture, however, is a  splendid panoramic landscape, which encourages me to go on a pilgrimage,  to the holy visually .

Now I view, with the vocation of Aloisio and gloomy Flemish paintings. My eyes bored, see a mirage… that sublime picture back to life, it’s a Caravaggio! I get goose bumps seeing it in front of me, ‘ The Lute Player,’ I remain entranced by the painting. Simply sublime. I would stay; I need  hours to admire it. Among other things, a painting like that hides many secrets, like most of the paintings of Caravaggio, it is also for this reason, that I love him!DSC02013

According to art critics  the model was the same who posed for Baccus , situated in Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence,  given the extreme resemblance. According to some critics,  the model could be the Sicilian painter Mario Minniti, Others identify him with the Spanish singer soprano castrato Pedro Montoya, who in those years was a singer in the Sistine Chapel, not surprisingly, the child has her lips parted, as if she were singing, accompanied by an instrument. Pedro was also a lover of Caravaggio, in fact they lived together in the mansion in BelMonte! Learning about  Caravaggio’s life is Incredibly fascinating; however he  has been incredibly damned.

The most valuable aspect of the painting is definitely the dual nature died on the table, represented by fruits (pear with memorable scratches on brown skin), from the flowers and the musical score. The latter, similar to that in the ‘Rest on the Flight into Egypt,’ has been deciphered by musicologists that delightedly found a love sonnet anonymous author of ‘framework, then, there is an invitation to the pleasures of love and the joys of life through the arts (music and singing) and worldly pleasures (fruits and flowers). The “dedication” to the Giustiniani was deciphered thanks to the large “V” ( Vincenzo) painted on a paragraph of the score.


There is another copy at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.. The vision of the Lute Player does not stop in a simple portrait, though there are many details. Caravaggio wanted, with this work, to  lay the memory of his “knowledge contagious” that dramatically changed the way we think about paintings. Already several painters, concealed messages within pictures, “commissioned” by the Church. (Botticelli, Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, Raphael … just to name some).

With this, Caravaggio put a seal on the hidden meaning of his paintings. In addition to the vision already amply explained and revealed by several critics; that the symbolism of androgyny or the various meanings of flowers and fruit basket, or to the various meanings of music. With Caravaggio there is the shape of the ying and yang, or the Heaven and Earth, the scheme of all things, the generators of change, the origin of birth and destruction, black and white signs. In fact if one scrutinizes well, you will see her dress is black and white, Light and Darkness, a dress “dual” of a being Androgynous which can be ambiguous, it may even look like a woman. I pause to see the paintings of Sodom, and end with the paintings of Velasquez and El Greco. Then I climb  the stairs  to the second floor, where there is the American collection.



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