Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Kimbell Museum has great art blurbs!

While traipsing along a random link-trail inside the Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum website, I came across a list of the artists whose work they have in their collection. If you click here, you'll find what I'm talking about:  https://www.kimbellart.org/collections/list-artists

Clicking on “C”, and then “Caravaggio”, I discovered that the Kimbell owns Caravaggio’s famous early painting, The Cardsharps. Fair enough. What followed was dazzling. First it had what you’d expect: the date Caravaggio painted it, the medium and support and size of the painting, and that this piece is currently on show. 

What followed however, in the "Conservation" section, was a marvelous description that put Caravaggio’s style in its historical context, explained how he’d originally painted the figures and where he'd made changes, his quirks of painting technique that were helpful to know, and the painting’s provenance. It had none of that esoteric art jargon that numbs my brain and did have loads of useful, interesting information that educated me; information that I think is useful to artists. Check this out:

Perhaps in lieu of underdrawing, Caravaggio used incisions to place elements on the canvas. In The Cardsharps there are only a few incisions in the wet ground, such as in the dupe’s fingertips and the edges of the cards, but this technique was greatly expanded in later works. Other innovative painting techniques in the Kimbell’s painting include the artist’s manipulation of the wet paint to enhance the realism of surface textures. When Caravaggio painted the silk brocade of the central cheat, he blotted the wet paint with his fingers or thumb. He also used the butt end of the brush to describe the black embroidery on the collar of the dupe.”

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE the internet?

If you're ever in Fort Worth with some time to spare, the Kimbell Art Museum is a wonderful museum to explore. Their permanent collection is delightful and they have marvelous revolving collections. The current one is The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago. It will be there until February 16, 2014. Go to  https://www.kimbellart.org/exhibitions

The image above: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Cardsharps, c. 1595, oil on canvas. Kimbell Art Museum. Used with permission

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