Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio / Simon Schama's "Power of Art"

Info: "In this painting of the victory of virtue over evil it's supposed to be David who is the centre of attention, but have you ever seen a less jubilant victory? On his sword is inscribed "Humilitus Occideit Superbium", that is, humility conquers pride. This is the battle that has been fought out inside Caravaggio's head between the two sides of the painter that are portrayed here.

"There's the devout, courageous David Caravaggio, and then there's the criminal sinner Goliath Caravaggio. 'I know who I've been,' says the pathetic head, unable to look us in the eyes. 'I know what I have done.' It's a desolate vision. Offered to us in utter blackness. No virtue. No grace. Just the dark truth from the inside of Caravaggio's head, flooded with tragic self knowledge.

For me the power of Caravaggio's art is the power of truth, not least about ourselves. If we are ever to hope for redemption we have to begin with the recognition that in all of us the Goliath competes with the David.""

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