|National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario|
Time was running out, Caravaggio was leaving town, well at least his paintings were. The exhibition was ending on the 11th so last Friday, on the 9th, I hightailed it off downtown for Teresa Day (regular readers might recall a recent Jonah Day, same idea only now it was my turn).
The National Gallery of Canada (here in Ottawa) had a summer long exhibition of Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome. The exhibition was an exploration of how one brilliant and temperamental artist changed the course of art history in a career that spanned less than two decades. Five years in the making, the exhibition brought together a dozen of Caravaggio’s masterpieces along with more than 40 paintings by other great artists of his time who looked to him for inspiration.
As for an actual date with Caravaggio - well that would have been way too scary. I learned that he was successfully sued for libel, had a hot temper, he killed a man in a brawl, escaped from the authorities looking for him, later seriously wounded another man, was imprisoned for this but escaped a month later, went into exile at the home of an old friend and while there was able to further his art career by completing some prestigious and lucrative commissions! Upon leaving a tavern one night, Caravaggio was ambushed and violently attacked, an attack from which he never full recovered. Basically the sort of guy your mom warned you about!
Only some 70 works by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio still survive, and those are rarely sent on loan by their owners. Not one of his paintings is held in a public collection in Canada. I consider myself most fortunate to have seen this exhibition.
Well it was a grand day - I toured Caravaggio's work, watched a film of his bio, scooted through the galleries permanent collections and feasted my eyes on originals by Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne, the Group of Seven...etc. etc...On and on it went. Yum, yum... I get visually weary of seeing great art reduced to posters, other print media and the internet. It is quite refreshing to stand in front of originals - to soak in the true colours, the size, the brush strokes. I also enjoyed experiencing the progression of art history as I viewed Caravaggio's art from the 1600s right on up to the contemporary work of today. After I left the Gallery, I walked a short distance down Sussex Dr. and popped into a few private art galleries, more wonderful art.
And I bought a rock! Isn't this 'Ruby in Fushite' lovely? It is only three inches long but oh the patterns and colours...I bought it at a groovy wee shop on Sussex called Jade. They sell gem stones and jewelry. This particular rock 'spoke to me', I could see all sorts of abstract paintings in the patterns so I treated myself and brought it home to inspire me.
So what else has been happening? Gee, we have had a bear visit a couple of times. He/she mangled and chewed an old apple tree located about 30 feet from our house. The bear was determined to get all of the apples. The tree has now been 'pruned' rather harshly but it should survive this. I do wonder if there might be a problem with all of the bark damage where the bear seriously chewed the surface. I hope not. The woods are full of fallen acorns for a bear to consume and it seems like he/she has moved on. Of course when walking in the woods these days, I am being more alert to any sounds of breaking twigs, anything that signals that the dog and I are not alone...Interesting notion though, the idea of having to consume lots of calories in the fall, like a bear does, in order to make it through winter. I think I would be up for the challenge... :-) Did I mention I baked an apple crisp this afternoon?...hehe...
I have had some time wasted dealing with the property where my parents lived. There has been some trespassing activity that needed attention, we had an pitiful offer come in (got to toss that one back, we didn't even try to negotiate, I have never done that before but it felt good) and I have spent hours emailing our agent (whose performance I am having to start to 'manage') as well as emailing/talking to my sister. Unfortunately it isn't all cloud watching and art around here.
And woo-hoo last night was opera night! Another trip downtown, this time to the National Arts Centre for an Opera Lyra production of Pagliacci (Anyone thinking of the Seinfeld 'Pagliacci' episode with Crazy Joe Davola as the clown? I forget all sorts of things but something like a TV sitcom episode stays stuck in my mind. Sheesh...) The opera was fabulous as usual and folks, Joanna G'froerer - principal flute player was in the house. Wee-hee! Every year we have front row, centre, season's tickets and from here I can lean over and look down into the orchestra pit. Being in the presence of Joanna, so renowned and so talented that she is, is a real treat. Okay, I am a flute player, not in her realm of course but gosh, to hear her play live, just feet from me, well I get goose bumps I tell you!
This has turned into a long post so my announcements and such shall have to wait. More tomorrow...