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REBUILDING THE RENAISSANCE PODCAST
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Rebuilding The Renaissance podcast will explore the development of the art, architecture, culture and history in Italy, from ancient Roman times through the Renaissance. Listeners will develop an understanding of Italy’s role in the development of Western civilization and an ability to appreciate and understand works of art in their historical context.
Episodes
Episode 283 – Caravaggio’s “Denial of St. Peter”
In the fall of 1609, shortly after returning to Naples in hopes of receiving a papal pardon, Caravaggio was ambushed by four men who severely disfigured his face. It was a few months later that Caravaggio painted the “Denial of St. Peter,” which was one of his last two paintings and that perhaps...
Episode 281 – Caravaggio’s “The Raising of Lazarus”
After spending some time in Siracusa, Sicily, Caravaggio – still on the run from the Knights of Malta - headed north to the town of Messina. There he painted another of his hauntingly beautiful late works, which, in this case, depicts Christ bringing Lazarus back from the dead. The disturbingly re...
Episode 280 – Caravaggio’s “Burial of St. Lucy”
After his daring escape from the island of Malta, Caravaggio went to Siracusa, Siscily. There he painted one of his most haunting works – the “Burial of St. Lucy.” An oppressive yellowish light illuminates the macabre burial of the early Christian martyr whose head almost looks detached from i...
Episode 279 – Caravaggio: Back to Black
After having been invested into the Knights of Malta and producing two of his most beautiful paintings while he was on the island, Caravaggio finally seemed to have cleaned up his act. But, on the night of August 28, 1608, Caravaggio was involved in a near fatal assault on a superior officer and imp...
Episode 278 – Caravaggio’s “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist”
While in Malta in 1608, Caravaggio painted one of his most sensational paintings – “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.” Measuring 12ft. (3.7n) x 17ft. (5.2m), the massive oil on canvas work depicts the moment after the executioner had used his sword to decapitate the Baptist. We now see hi...
Episode 277 – Caravaggio’s “Sleeping Cupid”
Caravaggio, still a fugitive from justice, left Naples for Malta in the second half of 1607 most likely because the sensational paintings he produced in Naples were drawing too much attention to him. When he arrived in Malta, he was inducted into the brotherhood and apparently changed his ways. One ...
Episode 276 – Caravaggio’s “Madonna of the Rosary”
Painted in 1607 while Caravaggio was in Naples, Italy, trying to elude the long arm of papal law for the murder he committed in Rome, the “Madonna of the Rosary” is Caravaggio’s most standard Baroque painting. While the patron is unknown, curiously, the painting went up for sale a few months a...
Episode 275 – Caravaggio’s “Flagellation”
Located in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, Italy, Caravaggio painted the “Flagellation” in 1607 while he was hiding out in Naples because he was wanted for murder in Rome. The “Flagellation” is dramatically sadistic scene of imminent torture set – like so many of Caravaggio’s paintings...
Episode 274 – Caravaggio’s “Seven Acts of Mercy”
When Caravaggio arrived in Naples as a fugitive on the run from papal justice in 1606, he immediately began to receive commissions. One of his first was for a charitable organization called the “Pio Monte della Misericordia.” This organization had just built a church with seven altars upon which...
Episode 273 – Answers to Open Questions XX
From similar faces in the Scrovegni Chapel, to identifying Judas in Veronese’s “Feast in the House of Levi,” to the symbolic gestures of the apostles in Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus,” to the “Isleworth Mona Lisa,” to my advice to a young person about life and much, much more - this...
Episode 272 – Caravaggio’s “David with the Head of Goliath”
Painted shortly after Caravaggio killed a man in Rome and was a fugitive from justice, the “David with the Head of Goliath” is today located in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, Italy. The painting was given to Cardinal Scipione Borghese in hopes that he could convince his uncle, Pope Paul V, to par...
Episode 271 – Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus” (2nd Version)
Located in the Brera Gallery in Milan, Italy, Caravaggio’s 2nd “Supper at Emmaus” was painted in the immediate aftermath of Caravaggio’s murder of Ranuccio Tommasoni on the streets of Rome. A wounded Caravaggio was a fugitive from justice and hiding out from the authorities in the hills sur...
Episode 270 – Caravaggio: Wanted Dead or Alive
O May 28, 1606, Caravaggio stabbed and killed a man named Ranuccio Tommasoni in Rome, allegedly over an unpaid wager. Discover the details of the homicide that changed Caravaggio’s life forever and turned him into a fugitive from justice....
Episode 269 – Caravaggio’s St. Jerome (Borghese Gallery)
In 1605, Caravaggio painted an image of St. Jerome for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and the painting is still located in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, Italy. Caravaggio’s depiction of the Father of the Church is a very quiet and intimate one, where we see a scholar in a sparsely furnished room cons...
Episode 268 – Caravaggio’s “Madonna of the Palafrenieri”
Painted in 1605 for the chapel of the Papal grooms, known as “Palafrenieri,” in the new Basilica of St. Peter, Caravaggio’s painting was removed after only a few days because it was considered indecorous. The stark nudity of the Christ Child, the bulging breasts of the Virgin Mary (who was mod...
Episode 267 – Caravaggio’s “Deposition”
Located in the Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums, Caravaggio’s “Deposition” was thought by many of his contemporaries to be the painter’s greatest work.  The dramatic representation of very real-looking biblical characters handling the dead body of Christ in a shallow, tenebrously-lit f...
Episode 266 – Caravaggio’s “Death of the Virgin”
Commissioned in 1601 for a chapel in the Roman church of Santa Maria della Scala, Caravaggio’s “Death of the Virgin” was rejected by the Carmelite friars of the church. While some believe it was because of the stark and indecorous representation of the dead Virgin Mary, one of Caravaggio’s b...
Episode 265 – Caravaggio’s “Madonna of Loreto”
Located in the Augustinian church of Sant ’Agostino in Rome, Italy, the “Madonna of Loreto” is one of Caravaggio’s most beautiful paintings. It was painted for the Cavalletti family in 1604 and depicts a barefoot Virgin Mary (who was modeled from a well-known prostitute) standing in a rundow...
Podcast 263 – Caravaggio’s “Incredulity of St. Thomas”
It was for one of his most important patrons, the fabulously wealthy banker, Vincenzo Giustiniani, that Caravaggio painted one of his most moving works – the “Incredulity of St. Thomas.” The skeptical apostle Thomas probes Christ’s wound with his finger in a disturbingly graphic way that onl...
Episode 262 – Answers to Open Questions XIX
From the source of the canvases used for large Venetian paintings in the Renaissance, to the death and burial of Masaccio, to the tradition of Madonarri in the Renaissance, to the difference between chiaroscuro and tenebrism, and much, much more - this episode answers the very questions that you a...
Episode 260 – Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus”
Located in the National Gallery in London, Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus” was painted in 1601 for the influential Cardinal Girolamo Mattei. The painting depicts the episode from the Gospel of Luke where two apostles dine with a traveler and realize to their astonishment that their companion i...
Episode 259 – Caravaggio’s “Conversion of St. Paul”
The second painting that Caravaggio produced for the Cerasi Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, Italy, depicts the dramatic conversion of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. While certainly inspired by Raphael’s and Michelangelo’s earlier interpretations of the same subject, Ca...
Episode 258 – Caravaggio’s “Crucifixion of St. Peter”
Caravaggio’s interpretation of St. Peter’s particular martyrdom – crucifixion in an upside-down position – for the Cerasi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, Italy, is a moving example of realism and physicality. Three executioners struggle to lift the burly fisherman who seems to embr...
Episode 257 – Caravaggio’s Cerasi Chapel
Located in the Augustinian church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, Italy, the Cerasi Chapel contains two paintings by Caravaggio – the “Crucifixion of St. Peter” and the “Conversion of St. Paul.” The paintings were commissioned by Monsignor Tiberio Cerasi, who was the treasurer general o...
Episode 256 – Caravaggio’s “St. Matthew and the Angel”
In 1602, Caravaggio signed his final contract with the Contarelli family to paint an altarpiece for their family chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, Italy. The first painting (now lost) that Caravaggio produced was rejected because it depicted St. Matthew as a rustic and rather s...
Episode 255 – Caravaggio’s “Calling of St. Matthew”
The “Calling of St. Matthew” was the second of three paintings that Caravaggio executed for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, Italy. It depicts the dramatic moment when Christ called Matthew, the tax collector, to follow him in his mission. Caravaggio transfo...
Episode 254 – Caravaggio’s “Martyrdom of St. Matthew”
The first of three paintings that Caravaggio painted for the Contarelli Chapel in the official French church of Rome, San Luigi dei Francesi, the “Martyrdom of St. Matthew" was the artist’s first large scale painting.  It depicts the assassination of the saint and evangelist at high mass in a d...
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