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ANGELS AND DEMONS II

Last year saw the release of Dan Brown's film, “Angels and Demons,” as the sequel to the blockbuster, “The Da Vinci Code.” In the "Angels and Demons," the four “preferiti” — cardinals who are finalists to succeed the newly deceased Pope — are all kidnapped. The plan of the conspirators calls for the ritual sacrifice of the cardinals at four ordinal points around Rome. The murdered body of the first of the prefereti is discovered in the Augustinian church, Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo, seen in this photo. (This is a sequel to the photo, ANGELS AND DEMONS I that I had posted in late May 2009.) This particular scene is an alcove-like mini chapel, with a trio of paintings on three walls. With my camera steadied against a facing column, I waited until the light was on this painting that I had specifically sought in my visit. The light illuminating the painting came on periodically, stayed on for a few seconds, and moved on. What looks like distortion in the canvas, is actually a good example of 3-point perspective, a technique developed in the Renaissance. Here the vanishing points are to be found at three points, two on the horizon line and one directly upwards.

Constructed between 1472-’77, the magnificent church displays contributions from a number of Italian Renaissance Masters. Featured is a façade by the 17th century sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini; the interior walls are adorned with paintings by Caravaggio and Annibale Carracci. Raphael Sanzio, who also decorated the dome of the church with mosaics, designed the private Chigi Chapel, located in one corner of the church. Only in a church in Italy could one find High Renaissance art of this caliber tucked in a nook in the church. It is Caravaggio's “The Conversion on the Way to Damascus,” painted in 1600.

Born in Milan and prodigiously talented, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 –1610), was the unrivaled “l’enfant terrible” of the Renaissance. In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl in Rome and fled to Malta. With a price on his head back home, Caravaggio lived in Malta for two years and produced a number of works that adorn the Cathedral in Valetta, the capitol of Malta. But then he became involved in another brawl in 1608, fled back to Italy, and found himself in another brawl yet in Naples in 1609. By the following year, at 38, he was dead.

Pocket Camera, Nikon S600, File size: 2736x3648 pixels, 3.8 MB; Aperture f/2.7; Shutter speed: 1/10 sec.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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