Cool stuff: The genius of Caravaggio (updated 31/10/16)

Note: A quick update to this previous post is to recommend very, very highly the current National Gallery exhibition Beyond Caravaggio.

I recently visited this wonderful display in the Sainsbury Wing of the gallery, and while only 6 of the 49 paintings on show are by the man himself, the over-arching point is how his style and breakthrough talent influenced others of the period, and since. 

Worth the £16.00 price of admission alone is to get up close to The Taking of Christ, on loan from the National Gallery of Ireland.

This post should have a category all of it's own. Not so much 'cool stuff', more 'jaw dropping stuff'.

I've long been in awe of just how Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio's art captures a moment in time. It's quite remarkable to me that his vision and skill with high and low lights dates back to the early 17th century. I suspect this is an arrogance of modern day attitudes that many consider that skill is often a recent thing. If anything, judging by many products around today, the polar opposite is true.

The true force and often brutality of his visions are brought to life with this beautiful book: Caravaggio: Complete Works, which illustrates, painting by painting, his attention to detail and unmatched ability to create a sense of drama with light. 

Many books are described as "unputdownable", but this huge tome truly is something that once opened has you transfixed. Only viewing the paintings themselves would match the wonder, and it's a shame that only a handful are available to view in the UK, at The National Gallery.