Art Criticism as a Feast – Part II of Helena’s Exposition of Caravaggio

Caravaggio demonstrates his virtuosity – and Helena demonstrates hers.

For the rest of this little intro I’m simply going to tweak and recycle what I said yesterday (March 26) about Helena’s work on Caravaggio. That piece was titled “Great guiding, great artist – Helena on Caravaggio, the artist in making.” Today’s March 27 podcast, titled “Art criticism as a feast”, is the third of several talks on the great Renaissance artist Caravaggio Helena has prepared for The Daily London Walks Podcast. The first one – if you missed it – is titled “I feel as though the artist’s hands are coming out of the canvas toward me.” It was posted on March 20th. Like all of Helena’s pieces, all three of Helen’s podcasts on Caravaggio are enriching, nourishing listens. Helena’s love of the subject, her blazing intelligence, her wide and deep knowledge, her assurance, her vivid way of telling the story, her pleasing voice – all of that is what goes in. What comes out, every time, is a consummate piece of art history and art criticism. Constable once said, “we see nothing till we truly understand.” Helena makes us understand. And see.


“played a formative part in the shaping of his early career”

“he was super sensitive about his background”

“It’s as if the boy is coming into our world”

“for which he was the supreme master”

“I don’t rate his chances of survival very highly”

“his superb rendering of the fruit…it’s good enough to eat”

“gives us the texture and the material…he also shows us the way the light reacts when it encounters another surface”

“still life with substance, art imbued with a deeper meaning”

“by Caravaggio’s time the lizard was a substitute for the serpent”

“it is also a warning about how we use our time”

“a bitten finger was a symbol that somebody has a venereal disease”

“Rome was full of violence, full of crime – it was just as well that Caravaggio wasn’t a sensitive young soul”

Caravaggio demonstrates his virtuosity – and Helena demonstrates hers

“it was a turning point in his life”

“he secured the commission that would change his life and work forever”

Would you like to know more about artistic London? Then check out our artistic London guided tours. It’s an education.

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