The Power of Art

While trapped in Regina I had the opportunity to watch 'The Power of Art', a program from the BBC (naturally) that walks us through some of the great artists, their lives and most importantly, their work.

The first episode on Carravagio was nothing short of riveting, and the story of his life literally comes to an end with the above painting of David and Goliath.

After having killed a man in a duel, Carravagio flees Rome for distant parts of Italy to stay ahead of the bounty that has been placed on him. When it eventually reaches him that he has a patron seeking his pardon with the Pope, he paints the above. In it, David holds the head of the slain Goliath - but more interestingly, is Goliath's visage - Carravagio gives Goliath his own face.

It's a joke, but very dark one - he is in effect saying to his patron, 'There is a price on my head - so here, I offer it to you'.

1 comment:

badrabbi said...


Your blog is very interesting. Amazing how many of the important paintings have personal meanings. I do believe that much of literature and art is like that - the artist is either heavily influenced by the actions or patterns of his surrounding, or the artist is making a personal statement. The world often makes abstract that which is otherwise personal.

BTW, I enormously enjoy your comments on other blogs. I view the blog posts as balls, with which your posts hit a homerun. Keep up to great work