Beautiful Troublemakers

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And this is art. Caravaggio left home young, fled after possibly killing another young man in a fight (he was always fighting) and produced this. Considered by some to be the father of realism in painting, he certainly brings to light a profound moment in human history in a totally accessible way. I love the idea that he let his passions get the best of him at times (a lot), but that he produced work accentuating the humanity of his subjects so compassionately. Look at the rosy cheeks of the young saint to be. He actually makes Paul look pretty gorgeous. And what a gorgeous moment it was if you happen to take Christianity seriously. A young zealot off to kill some Christians thrown from his horse, blinded and asked, “Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

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Even non-Christians are drawn to redemption stories, second chances and undeserved forgiveness and love. The House on Tenafly Road is about John Weldon’s redemption through his marriage with Katherine and friendship with Simon and it surprised even me (I just put those Biblical quotes in there to make the story seem more period correct). But by the time  book two came along I’d been drawn into the Bible and it’s brilliant stories of flawed people and had gone on a missionary trip, coming home with mixed feelings and the idea of a missionary having a chat with William Weldon and his nemesis Buck Crenshaw. My ideas were cynical yet again, but, again my love for Anne of Green Gables-like happy endings and my love for William and Buck forced the book in a different direction. A drunken evening of trouble ends with a bit of a scuffle with some Apache and one young man is knocked from his horse. I like to think he looked something like Caravaggio’s Paul.

15 thoughts on “Beautiful Troublemakers

    • Me too! Also love Saint Paul’s writing–awe inspiring on every level. Sigh. One of my favorite paintings is The Call of Saint Matthew–it’s kind of funny to imagine the scene. The surprised looks on the men’s faces! haha. My mother has always wanted to go to India–I look forward to reading your blog!

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      • Yes, I know the Call of St. Matthew. I have been blessed to go with my husband and his architecture students to Roma and live there off and on for 2 1/2 years. I am terrible remembering names especially in foreign languages, but there is a small church in Piazza del Popolo in Rome with two Caravaggio”s. I think the Crucifixion of St Peter is there and also one in the Portuguese Baroque church. Peter refused to be crucified as Christ was and they did it upside down!
        More to come!

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      • Wow, you lucky thing, you 🙂 Sounds like a great experience. I can’t complain though. I grew up close to The Metropolitan Museum in NYC which was pretty awesome (not Italy though). haha.

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      • We live in Upstate so we have visited the Met many times. I don’t think there is a Caravaggio there, is there? Met is great! We saw a Caravaggio in Vienna, though. I also like Vermeer , the Dutch painter. and the way he uses light. Actually, they both use light in an exceptional way. Have you been to the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston? They had a couple that were stolen years ago. Both these magnificent painter had only a few works for people to see now! 8-( Sorry for this long comment. You touched my heart this morning!

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      • Aw, I’m glad. I live Upstate, too 🙂 near Saratoga. I love long comments 🙂 I haven’t been to Boston much at all, but I will keep it in mind for future excursions.

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      • Oh my goodness… Go to my talesalongtheway.com and
        click on Fathers, Saratoga Srpings, and Breakfast at the Track! I live in Troy and the architect is professor at RPI!

        Do you know about Mega Bus to NYC?
        Smiles!

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      • Check out post Washington park and were we live in urban Troy. There are lots of posts on Troy! Mega Bus is great for day trips . I wrote a post about taking granddaughter to American Doll Store!

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      • I could never understand how this so incredibly gifted (by God) talented painter could capture such moments of faith and devotion and that God would allow that. But then, I thought that no matter if there was ever a public profession by Caravaggio, that he himself probably in his darkest hours understood the need for a Savior!

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      • It’s EXACTLY why I love Caravaggio. Only truly broken people (I think) can capture our need for God. They get it! I studied art history years ago at NYU, but when I really started getting into the Bible and revisited Caravaggio’s work I was blown away with feeling.

        I also love Vermeer and while I’m not a huge Rembrandt fan, the Prodigal Son painting touches me deeply.

        I think God uses people even when the people are blind to it 🙂

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      • Yes, yes perfect! How Joseph got to Egypt to be there for the Israelites years later, and how Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem for the prophecy to come true..little did Caesar know! I am going to look up the Prodigal Son . . . .

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