Archive for Caravaggio

a journal of the plague year³ [beginning of the end?]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2022 by xi'an

Made my first trip to Warwick this year despite the travel restrictions imposed by the omnipresent Omicron version. My flights got repeatedly cancelled, meaning I had to fly through Schipol (thanks for the Gouda cumin cheese and stroopwafelen!) and leave at more-than-early hours (even by my standards!). But had more conversations than usual, plus delivered my lecture masked-face-to-masked-face to 19 Warwick students, the first time in 709 days!

Read [in French] the two BDs of Milo Manara on Michelangelo [Merisi or Amerighi da] Caravaggio, which was a Xmas gift!, with as always great in the large scale and character drawings, if not Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro, but less in the scenario, esp. the second part and even more esp. given the agitated life of the artist. And another BD taking place in Cayenne, in 1742, whose drawings also appear in local guides.

Watched 14 Peaks: Nothing is impossible on Netflix, following Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja [of Everest jam fame!] and his team as they manage to climb all 14 eight thousander peaks over 6 months. Including Shishapangma in Tibet, with the added hardship to procure a climbing permit from Chinese authorities for that mountain. The documentary focuses a wee bit too much on Purja’s persona and not enough on the team of sherpas and on the climb itself. Except for the summitings there is very little about the technical difficulties of each summit and the hardships and failed attempts. For instance, the amazing feat of first installing fixed ropes for all 14 summits is only alluded to. Despite reservations about the use of supplementary oxygen (without which, as stressed by Messner, the attempt of climbing all 8000ers in one season would have proved truly impossible and suicidal) and heliporting from one base camp to another, the enormity of the achievement of this team of sherpas remains a monument in the climbing world. (Even only considering that Everest, Lhotse and Makalu were climbed in two days total!)

Morning visit to The Louvre

Posted in Kids with tags , , , , , on April 5, 2009 by xi'an

Image from Wikipedia

Following some announcement on the radio that French (public) museums were now free all year round for youngsters under 26 and for teachers, my daughter suggested we should go to the Louvre today, which we did this morning. Of course, we had not realised this was the first Sunday of the month, when the museums are free for…everyone!, but it was bearably crowded and so we endured. After the customary (and useless) queue for the Joconde, we went to the Italian section where Caravaggio’s Fortune Teller was miraculously left alone. So we spent some time staring at the details and at the light structure, then tried (and failed) to spot other Caravaggio’s in the museum. The French section was much less crowded, with a painting by Paul Delaroche, La Jeune Martyre, that captured the interest of my daughter (and so did the huge David’s Intervention of the Sabine women, mostly because it is reproduced in her Latin textbook!). The Dutch section was also quieter, alas with Vermeer’s Seamstress missing, which is alas about the only Vermeer in the musuem, but with other less know Dutch paintings in the same light that were presented in the same room as the missing Vermeer’s. So I have to thank my daughter for spending such a nice (and free) Sunday morning!

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