Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love stops war...

My favourite painting from the recent trip to Rome was one Lena and I discovered at the "Castel Sant’Angelo". The castle was jam packed with tourists as we'd found ourselves there in the middle of culture week and all the large State owned museums & sites were free. Everyone seemed intent on simply getting to the top and then just as quickly getting back down again to the bottom. We were transported through the castle by a continuous flow of people and found a rare and quiet spot somewhere near the top where this painting hung in its' newly restored state. I still can't quite work out why no one was stopping to look at this absolute gem painted by Guercino called "Marte Furibondo Ritenuto da un Amorino" which literally translated means "Mars furious, is restrained by Cupid" or more usually "When love stops war".
I copied the picture and the following text from a great website; 'In Rome now' ..... "Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino (1591-1666), was one of the most admired and sought after painters of his day. As a young boy, he taught himself the craft of painting before leaving Cento, the small town near Ferrara were he was born. He was influenced by deep, rich colors, applied loosely in the Venetian way, and the new, more intimate manner of interpreting religious themes from careful study and emulation of Ludovico Caracci’s "Madonna with St. Francis", the town’s one great artwork, which hung in a local church.
Along with Guido Reni, Domenichino and Lanfranco, Gurecino was a major exponent of the Scuola Bolognese, a group of Baroque artists who turned away from the idealized beauty of the early Renaissance in pursuit of naturalism. Guercino preferred his subjects to look real. Once he overcame the rigid configuration seen in his earlier works, his attention to naturalism was revealed in meticulously painted hands and faces held together by the movement of swirling robes and theatrical stances."
I love how the tiny, naked baby hangs onto the sword arm of Mars, the God of War stopping him mid stride and how Mars has the classic pose that Carravagio used as a device of the left arm and right leg forward at the same time making the figure twist toward you.


Mardi Sommerfeld said...

I'm very happy for you Joey that you made the most of having Lena close by.
Good to see the spotty dress still getting out & about! I'm guessing you're home again, talk soon, love you xxxxxx

JoeyJoJo said...

The spotty dress will be coming out for special events for years to I suspect Mard. Nice to talk to you this Easter morning. Love and more love. xxxx