Thursday, 15 April 2010

St Jerome - Caravaggio


With Caravaggio comes an unsurpassed ability to convey three dimensions with paint.

It’s not so much what he painted, which is almost always a subject less than admirable, as the way his subject was presented.  He didn’t present his subjects so much as project them.

See how the figure of St Jerome emerges out of the darkness almost as a hologram—as a fully-rounded figure with a fully noble presence--that’s the imagery Caravaggio managed to convey in a two-dimensional canvas.

He had an unmatched talent put to a less than admirable use.


  1. Yes, he should have painted rockets, factories and perfectly proportioned male models. What an evil individual. Just like that Stalinist Vermeer.

    Judge Holden

  2. @Judge Holden: You're either dim or nasty. And given your chosen nickname, it's probably the latter. Either way, you're unwelcome here.

  3. There is a nobility in the presentation. Rare, and hard to do.
    Thanks for introducing me to this.

  4. Gosh a little touchy aren't we Peter? Perhaps Redbaiter has a point.

    Why do you consider his subjects less than admirable?What should he have painted in order to have put his talent to an admirable use?

    Judge Holden

  5. Holden

    Had you been seriously interested in the topic you'd have politley asked PC the questions (from your second post) instead of immediately launching into the insincere nonsense you vomited up initially (in your first post).

    PC's right to conclude you are nasty. You are quite dishonest. No point in discussing philosophy of art with the likes of you unless you amend your dirty little habits.


  6. PC

    Holden is nasty AND dim.


  7. PC, I think that Judge Holden has a point here. Why is this knee jerk reaction here from you?

    Last year you had a blog post attacking a clothing store for selling T shirts with a Che Guevara image printed on them. What if Caravaggio is to be resurrected today and he fancied Che Guevara and lets' say that he sells those paintings of himself? Would you attack his art work too? I seriously doubt that you would. Just think about it man. Shops that are selling clothing items with images of Che on them are more or less artistic similar to the work of Caravaggio that you have posted above? Or perhaps you prefer to be selective about art?

  8. @Kneejerk: "Would you attack his art work too?"


    "Or perhaps you prefer to be selective about art?"

    Yes, I do.

  9. A number of paintings of Jerome feature a skull. It's a simple matter to deduce he was taken up with a world to come. His writing and his asceticism reflects it.

    There is where two worlds collide.

    Caravaggio could have been an objectivist for all I know; Making the best use of his artistic abilities in this world in portraying an ageing man pondering the eternal, the struggle between good and evil.

    Perhaps there is a modern painter that has depicted an objectivist contemplating age. Those musings must occur if this world is all there is.



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