Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Pact with the devil...

Giovanni Baglione: Sacred and profane love

"Derived from the Psychomachia of Prudentius, the moralizing theme of combat between the vices and the virtues was interpreted by Virgil in "Omnia vincit Amor". Later codified by Petrarch, the theme enjoyed a new popularity in the early seventeenth century. The face of the figure of the devil at the left has been identified as a portrait of Caravaggio. This canvas includes a satirical condemnation of both Caravaggio's art and his moral scruples, making what is tantamount to a visual charge of sodomy. Divine Love interrupts a tryst between Cupid and the Devil, who turns toward the viewer in anguished surprise revealing Caravaggio's likeness."