Thursday, May 17, 2012

If it's not Baroque, don't fix it

A couple of days ago, went to St John's co-cathedral in Valletta. Downloading and then uploading images from my iPad defeats me. But images are available here.  It is an unrestrained example of a Baroque Catholic cathedral. When I say "unrestrained", I mean they did not know when to stop. I would say it was positively Hindu or Chinese in its inability to know when to stop, except that would give mere ornamental bling excess a bad name.  It does not so much assault the boundaries of good taste as unthinkingly obliterate them.

But the cathedral  has two Caravaggios on display--St Jerome Writng and The Execution of St John. In a side chapel. A juxtaposition that allows one to contemplate the conjunction of the sublime and the ridiculous.

Still, the cathedral itself is proof that old does not equal tasteful. Or, as I have been known to observe to fellow re-enactors, bad taste is period too.

[Cross-posted at Skepticlawyer.]

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