“A masterpiece by one of the greatest artists of all time”

This is the fifth and final part of Helena’s series on Caravaggio’s masterpiece, The Taking of Christ. At one point Helena speaks of “the beauty and quality of this work.” That phrase is equally applicable to her work – her art criticism/appreciation/history. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, I am, without fail, spellbound by her love and command of her subject – what she shows us, where she takes us. Every piece she does for us. I’ve done lots of “art history courses” – by recognised authorities (a director of the Smithsonian, for example). Helena’s push them into second and third place. Nobody does this better than this tiny little blonde down in Truro (Cornwall). Would that she were back in London, guiding for us once again. Well, we can hope.


“three soldiers and a lantern bearer”

“what a terrifying trio they are”

“they represent murderous efficiency”

“the hard unyielding brutal metal of the soldiers’ armour”

“the colour contrasts bring to mind the biblical metaphors of darkness and light”

“the degree to which the soldiers have been armed seems totally out of proportion to the task to which they’ve been assigned”

“it almost borders on the realms of farce”

“the most strikingly sinister feature of this painting”

“captures with photographic-like realism”

“both menacing and mesmerising at the same time”

“the ugly juxtaposition between hard metal and soft flesh”

“give the same person an entirely different character just by a change of clothing and gesture”

“Caravaggio’s dual role-playing model”

“he challenges us to look in the mirror”

“the lantern-bearer is a self-portrait of the artist”

“that stark contrast between light and shade creates the mood”

“it shines a light on the artist’s hand of genius”

“deep and complex analysis and interpretation of the Gospel story”

“his paintings represent sermons in a frame”

“it’s there to illuminate the artist”

“the history is almost as fascinating as the painting itself”

“he’d fallen out of fashion, fallen out of favour”

“the blunt honesty and dirty realism of Caravaggio’s work”

“it was bought for the paltry sum of eight guineas”

“oblivious to the fact that he had a masterpiece on his hands”

“executed with the butt end of the artist’s brush”

“pentimenti are frequently used as a means of proving the authenticity of a painting”

“two significant changes”

“art forms that were more honest, realistic and relevant to the lives of real people”

“the beauty and quality of this work…superlative rendering”

“the rediscovery 0f a masterpiece that was considered lost to the world for all time”

“Christ’s dress rehearsal for his final supreme act of love – his sacrifice on the cross for the whole of humankind”

“a masterpiece by one of the greatest artists of all time”





































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