Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Taking of Christ, Caravaggio

(This is my favorite Caravaggio. I love the tension in Christ's hands and the look of physical pain on his face as he meekly receives Judas' kiss.The cloak frames the three faces of St. Peter, Jesus & Judas. Caravaggio chooses to paint the soliders in contemporary uniforms, while the disciples remain in more "traditional" garments.)

Prayer: Lord, Help us closely follow your steps during this way of the Cross.

PS: Fun background story on this painting currently located in the Irish National Gallery in Dublin. This Caravaggio painting was missing for over 200 years. Two graduate students found a crumbling entrybook which listed "Taking of Christ" as one of the paintings in Caravaggio's estate. The world-wide hunt for this "lost" painting was on. It turned up in the "eating room" of a Jesuit house. It had been hanging there for over sixty years. A widow had donated the painting as a way to say thanks to her priests for doing such wonderful services for her husband. Everyone in the Jesuit order assumed the painting was just a copy. On day an art historian was appraising various paintings which the Jesuit owned. He insisted that this painting be taken down from the wall and cleansed of dirt and grime. Underneath the grime were the original brushstrokes of Caravaggio. Now this beloved painting is hanging up in a museum. (I joked with Jon that instead of hanging on a gallery wall, maybe this painting served its best purpose by inspiring the priest's as they ate their meals!)

1 comment:

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Caravaggio is one of my favorites!

Wonderful painting!