Wednesday, April 23, 2008


LONGHENA - "THE SALUTE". I've recently decided to brush up on my art history. Or rather, Netflix came up with this brilliant idea and gave me a friendly nudge by recommending that I rent Simon Schama's Power of Art. This 3-DVD BBC series has an hour-long episode for each of 8 artists: Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rothko. I am pretty pumped to watch these and squirrel away some more knowledge other than LONGHENA - "THE SALUTE".

LONGHENA - "THE SALUTE" was my mantra when studying for the AP art history test back in high school. For whatever reason, I was convinced that one of the multiple choice questions would ask me to either name the architect of the "Salute" or name the basilica that Longhena designed. To this day I remember that the answer would have been LONGHENA or "THE SALUTE", but not what the structure looks like or its significance or its location (probably Italy, the hub of all things finer).

Power of Art would have provided some much-needed relief for my mental sanity back in, say 1999, but today it provides much-needed finer thing entertainment. The stories are dramatic, the actors intense, Schama . . . very Oxford, very British. Tonight I learned about Caravaggio, a "thug" who made it big in Rome with sensations such as this, The Calling of St. Matthew:

Umm, I'm pretty much a Caravaggio expert now. Believe it.

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