Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Camera Obscura

Caravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces

Art history scholars have long known that Caravaggio worked in a sort of darkroom, illuminating his subjects through a hole in the ceiling and projecting the image onto a canvas using a lens and a mirror.

But Mrs Lapucci is the first researcher to suggest that he treated the canvas with light-sensitive substances, including a luminescent powder made from crushed fireflies, in order to "fix" the image as 19th century photographers later would.


From "Chasing Amy"

Holden: Sorry about him, he's, uh, he's dealing with being an inker.
Alyssa: Oh... you trace.


It's cool. I understand the need to get the work out. Once you prove to yourself that you can draw naturalistically, why keep doing it?

And yet somehow a part of the respect I once held for masters like Caravaggio and Vermeer has quietly died.