i had quite an amazing time at the art institute of chicago, talking about "the art all around us" at the 'lived practice symposium'. it is an astonishing museum, but the painting i come back to york springs pa remembering is this crucifixion by zurbaran.
this is one of those things that just cannot be shown on the screen: it is monumental in scale, for one thing. i do think zurbaran is a bit undervalued, and even the card at the aic really suggests that he's derivative of caravaggio. alright, obviously caravaggio is in there, as he was for rembrandt, say. but that does not look like a caravaggio: zurbaran extremely is a distinctive and original stylist, though there are many elements in the vocabulary. the spiritual atmosphere is entirely unlike caravaggio. the drapery is very distinctive and graphic and just virtuosic. i prefer him to his contemporary velazquez. the still lifes of zurbaran are real treasures too, and don't look like anyone else's.