Spectacular birthdays are rare when you’re an adult. Most people, I find want to just pretend the years aren’t going by. Others celebrate with reckless abandon. I’m for the latter. There is nothing you can do to stop the passage of time, so why not embrace it? Have fun with it?
This month we celebrate my Prince Charming husbands birthday, and I found something I knew would make his day special.
His favorite artist of all time is the incomparable, Caravaggio. His real name is Michelangelo Merisi, (no, not that Michelangelo that painted the Sistine Chapel, the other one), but he is known worldwide as Caravaggio.
Caravaggio is famous for his skill with light and shadow. A technique that would be copied by countless artists including Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer.
For those of us that paint, I enjoyed looking at the paintings, much like I do with Monet, (my favorite artist) trying to understand how he created these masterpieces. Studying brush strokes and drinking in their beauty. Hoping that just being near them will instill in me some magical stroke of his genius and make me a better painter. My husband enjoyed them just for their beauty.
Seeing these paintings is extraordinary for several reasons. First, the Getty is located in Los Angeles and recently there was a fire raging on the museums doorstep. Fortunately the Getty was built with the foresight of just an event so all was well. But I admit, I was worried there for a while. Second and probably most amazing is that these paintings haven’t been out of Italy for 400 years! They have been housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome and are just now being shown here in the US. Finally, seeing these paintings is a gift because Caravaggio had a very short career that only spanned less than 20 years. He died, mysteriously at 39 years old taking his genius with him.
Fortunately, unlike some of us, and I mean me, I’m well past 39 years old and I still haven’t figured out what I’m meant to do. I’m so pleased that Caravaggio knew at a young age and pursued it, much like we should our birthdays with that reckless abandon I mentioned earlier. Otherwise we would never have seen these exquisite pieces of art that I believe, will change you forever once you see them.
The three Caravaggio paintings are on view at the Getty until February 18th and no matter where you are in the country, if you are an art lover, get yourself to Los Angeles and go see them.
When you’re here, I can safely say there will be a layer of smog hanging over LA like a warm blanket. The day we were there, it was clear as a bell. You could see the ocean in the distance, far off buildings and the homes that barely skirted the fires. Another gift toward making this a spectacular day.
I’ve included a video I took of the view and trust me, a clear day like we got, is as remarkable as seeing these paintings.
Next birthday, I hope you get a day this good…and every birthday after. They truly are a gift, go ahead and celebrate!