The discovery of the the masterpiece, 'The Taking of Christ', implausibly hanging over a fireplace in Dublin was much reported on in the press in 1993 and the painting turned up recently on the much talked about RTE series, The Nation's Favourite Picture, chosen by popular local hero, Ken Doherty. Quite the Renaissance man himself, the Dublin international snooker star has a penchant for the contents of frames other than those on the green baize. Further unexpected finds of the Italian Master have been reported this week from Milan, although experts remain sceptical. Reading this article in the Irish Times, whatever about the provenance of the paintings, it seems very unlikely that a team of experts managed to keep the find under their hats for two years
By all accounts, he was bit of a bowsie (Caravaggio, not our Ken) and prone to a bit of a schmozzle as they say in sporting circles, and even though he refused to take an apprentice, jealously guarding his techniques for producing his innovative chiaroscuro effects, he could be said to have founded a school of painting malgré lui.
The Fabré Museum in Montpellier is currently showing an exhibtion Corps et Ombres (literally , Bodies and Shadows) dedicated to the painters work and those of his followers. The exhibition is an initiative of FRAME a collaborative venture between regional French and American galleries.
The vivid, rather gruesome Tarantinoesque display of extra large canvases on several floors of the Fabre Gallery was impressive. The themes were mostly religious with a preoccupation with severed heads either Goliath after his tete a tete with David and St John the Baptist having got on the wrong side of Salomé. The Security Guards seemed to be on high alert, no doubt mindful of the unfortunate mishap with a Monet in Dublin this week .
|Sacrifice of Isaac|
The Fabre Museum is housed in an attractive leafy boulevard in the Southern regional capital. There was a choice of attractive lunchtime spots and we enjoyed the entertainment provided by this trio of buskers at Cafe Illona We stayed in the nearby seaside resort of Palevas- les -Flots where our hosts at Le Cigaliere Hotel spoke warmly of their fishing trip to the Shannon region.
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