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Monday, November 8, 2010

Artist Study: Caravaggio

Some thoughts about Caravaggio...

The way he portrays light is awesome.  In art terms it's called chiaroscuro.  Everything appears to be in shadows, and he portrays bright light to accentuate the part of the painting that he wants to highlight.  I REALLY like this.  However, he has some rather morbid themes and graphic portrayals of death in several of his paintings and some nudity as well (so be careful when browsing online galleries).  I think these themes and even his dark paintings actually demonstrate his somewhat violent temperament.  Click here to read a kid-friendly biography, and another biography here.
"Caravaggio had a noteworthy ability to express in one scene of unsurpassed vividness the passing of a crucial moment."  ~Wikipedia: Caravaggio

Read about Caravaggio in recent times! 
Here's an article about a stolen and then damaged work of art that was purportedly of Caravaggio.
Read here about one of Caravaggio's works that was found after having been lost for 200 years!

Caravaggio's paintings are in the Baroque style.  Here's how National Arts Center (Canada) explain Baroque:
"Baroque art emerged in Europe around 1600 as a reaction against the intricacies of the Mannerist style that had dominated the Late Renaissance. Baroque art was more direct, more realistic and certainly more emotionally intense than Mannerism. The word “baroque” is derived from the Portuguese and Spanish barroco or French baroque, both referring to a rough or imperfect pearl. This movement was characterized by drama and grandeur."
Did you know that Baroque is a label not only for art, but for music as well?  Want some ideas how to integrate studies of both Baroque music and art?  Click here.

Here are some comparisons between two VERY famous Baroque period artists:

Art Lesson Plans and Activities using Chiaroscuro:

Chiaroscuro Portrait Lesson
Mosaic and Chiaroscuro
The Power of Light and Dark
Mr. Potato Head's a Lesson in Chiaroscuro

See the use of chiaroscuro in photography here! (PDF)

Here's a free printable - a (PDF) booklet with the
AO selections as well as a few extras we'll be looking at this term. 


Silvia said...

Excellent information. Thanks for the hard work.
Your last link to the free pdf isn't working, all the others do, I've perused them and they are sooo neat.
Thanks again and happy claroscuro learning. The video was fascinating too.

amy in peru said...

Silvia! thank you SO much for telling me... I always knew I could count on you!'s fixed now! ;)

Bethany said...

Thank you so much. This is great. You take all of the hard work out of teaching AO.


Anonymous said...

You did such a great job with this. I remember studying this in college but the video of the art technique is so illustrative that it brings out the technique the artist used. Thank you for sharing with all of us on AO!

Rebecca in Texas

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