Helena masters a masterpiece

Spellbinding. Which is what we’ve come to expect of Helena’s explications of great works of art. Brilliant in its own right, this talk is part of a bigger picture. It’s Helena laying the foundation – Part II if you will – for her history, analysis and explication of Caravaggio’s masterpiece The Taking of Christ. She leads us toward Caravaggio’s work by taking us through one of the supreme masterworks of the early Renaissance, Giotto’s treatment of the same subject in his fresco cycle in the Scrovegni chapel in Padula.

It’s a rewarding listen even without the painting (or a reproduction) in front of you, Helena’s that good. But why would you do that when a good visual is at your fingertips, a click away. Here’s a good link.


“they have a degree of animation unprecedented for that period”

“we can see the frescoes from the perspective of the viewer to the chapel”

“in the long term it had serious consequences”

“see how the folds of the material cleverly bring our gaze up”

“the garment brings us into the painting”

“he immediately takes us to the emotional core of the drama”

“it makes for gripping drama”

“the silver would have added an audio element” [beyond brilliant, this observation, this insight]


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