Doing a sketch study is a nice way to spend a few hours, seeping in the energies and vibrations of landscapes, buildings, works of art.
Some of my sketches hang in the houses of my friends. Hyde Park London in the winter morning. Lodhi gardens Delhi in the early evening, sketching the palms bordering the Eastern boundaries of the tomb of Muhamed Shah (1444). The columns of Nephretiti, talking to you in Karnak-Southern Egypt.
Last November, I gave most of my sketches to my sons, to keep and study at leisure.
How the shadings and smudging move you and carry you through different planes.
Yesterday night, I made a sketch study of “The Mocking of Christ”..and remembered Mattia Preti-who some scholars say was the last of the great Caravaggisti.
To quote a commentary on the works of Preti
“The various moments of Christ’s Holy passion inspired Preti with many paintings. In this particular one he reaches a rare degree of poignancy and spirituality.
Christ crowned with thorns and wearing the purple mantle is seated on the left, in front of him are two figures, one wearing a helmet, the other, cap in hand, salutes ironically and is offering him the cane. The balance of qualities described in the picture, combined with the spacing and the soft cool tones and the straightforward completeness point out to a powerful personality and a consummate master in Preti”
As a radiologist, one of my teachers used to tell me.. “The present generation of radiologists are seeing anatomy like no other previous generations has seen”
We used to be proud of being the first humans to see imaging by CT, MRI, and try to understand the different processes going on.
Now, after over a decade down the line, I am not so sure..For when I came across the works and philosophy of the Caravaggisti, the precision and depth of their perceptions, I thought.. “We have a long long way to go..before making empty claims”.
Do some sketch studies and you will know.