Tag Archives: David Beheading Goliath

Caravaggio & Vermeer & R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”


The last weekend of March, I went to San Francisco to see Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring and other famous paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. I’d hoped to see more of Vermeer’s paintings, like The Milkmaid,

Vermeer's The Milkmaid

or his Woman in Blue, Reading a Letter,

Vermeer's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

or his Woman with a Balance,

Vermeer's Woman with a Balance

but the only Vermeer in the exhibit was his most famous: Girl with a Pearl Earring, considered the Dutch Mona Lisa. And she was beautiful.

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring

Since I’m getting ready to do a blog on the exhibit, and those painters were hugely influenced by Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio — another one of my favorite painters, with his dramatic, virtually theatrical lighting — I thought I’d look at some of his paintings again.

He dealt with both secular and religious subjects, but his religious ones seem to be the most popular. I love his Judith Beheading Holfernes,

Caravaggio's Judith Beheading Holfernes

his The Entombment of Christ,iCaravaggio's The Entombment of Christ

his The Calling of St. Matthew,

Caravaggio's The Calling of St. Matthew

his David Beheading Goliath,

Caravaggio's David Beheading Goliath

as much as I love his mythological Narcissus.


Looking over Caravaggio’s wondrous paintings again brought to mind R.E.M.’s marvelous visual tribute to that influential painter, their video for “Losing My Religion.”

Do they even make music videos that look like Renaissance paintings any longer?


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