Saturday, August 08, 2009

An art lesson: Comparing Caravaggio and Rembrandt

Judith and Holofernes by Caravaggio

What a fantastic way to appreciate paintings and learn about their context: an online side-by-side comparison of Caravaggio and Rembrandt (tip from Open Culture):
Two heavyweights of the 17th-century art world juxtaposed: The Italian Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio(1571-1610), and the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). For the first time ever the paintings of these two artists are presented side by side: a unique opportunity to compare different aspects of their work and their lives.
The site is indeed quite remarkable. Go to the opening page - and click on "watch the comparisons", and then go to any of the paintings. A menu-driven (written) commentary takes you through the different aspects of their respective paintings and presents a comparison. If you can't go through all of the paintings, check these three for comparison: The Blinding of Samson/Judith and Holofernes; The denial of St. Peters/The betrayal of Christ; Abraham's sacrifice (they both did this one). The last two are also slightly related to two recent posts: Cosmology in the Gospel of Judas and "Oh God said to Abraham...", respectively.

Take your time and enjoy!


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