Picture Study is simple. Look at the picture with your children for a few minutes and then talk about what you saw. Try to remember as much about the piece as you can. Enjoy the beauty of it. Art is not a chore; it’s a pleasure. This year, we are looking at older art, and we’ve chosen some pieces of Caravaggio’s work for this month.
Caravaggio (1565-1610) was a member of the Italian Baroque period. He was tired of the Mannerism that El Greco championed in Spain. Caravaggio was a seeker of truth, and he didn’t care if the truth was ugly. He wanted to portray things the way that he saw them, and that is what he did. Avoiding both convention and tradition, Caravaggio portrayed real people and common laborers. He caused great controversy in the church by even portraying Jesus’s disciples as working people instead of holy icons. He wasn’t very popular in his lifetime. In his search for truth, Caravaggio embraced Naturalism, coping nature faithfully. He also read the Bible over and over, imagining the events of Scripture as if they happened right in front of him. He made those scenes real and tangible. That was a very important function in his society because most working people of his time were not able to read, and church services were conducted entirely in Latin (which those common people did not understand.) Caravaggio also had a reputation for brawling, drinking, and frequently wound up in jail. He is another example of God using real people, with all the flaws, to spread word of His goodness far and wide.
- For kids: https://www.amazon.com/Artist-You-Should-Know-Profiles/dp/1494257297
- For adults: https://www.amazon.com/Rembrandt-Wind-Learning-through-Faith/dp/0310129729
Photo of Artist: By Ottavio Leoni – milano.it, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=331612