Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Anne Pollok on Caravaggio



This is entry #61 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Anne Pollok, University of South Carolina

Artwork: Caravaggio, Saint Matthew and the Angel, 1602

Words: Caravaggio’s daring interpretation of St. Matthew captivated me instantaneously. A dynamic mixture of saintly helplessness and angelic sensuality – I longed to experience the original. That hope was squished immediately when I read the description – a lost work of art. Have we really lost the work, or could we save what is essential of it? Its main “idea” is still there in a sensible form, not as a concept, but once removed. It has been over 15 years now that I first felt Caravaggio’s greatness, and that I learned about the loss, and never have I ceased thinking about it.

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