Tyler Green
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The Modern Art Notes Podcast: Helen Langdon

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Caravaggio biographer and art historian Helen Langdon.

The Kimbell Art Museum and the Yale University Press have just published “Caravaggio’s Cardsharps: Trickery and Illusion,” a smart, richly illustrated 74-page book on the great Caravaggio in the Kimbell’s collection. Priced at $17, it’s an absolute steal.

A scholar of the Italian Baroque and particularly of Rome, Langdon’s 1998 “Caravaggio: A Life” is considered one of the best and most important of the many Caravaggio biographies.

Among the topics Langdon and I discuss are:

  • Why Caravaggio’s painting led to an explosion of ‘card-player’ paintings throughout Europe;
  • Whether Caravaggio was purposefully making a statement about rogue-ish elements of Roman society;
  • Whether the Cardsharps historian Dennis Mahon bought at auction in 2007 is really a Caravaggio as Mahon claims, or just a copy; and
  • What scholars have yet to discover about Caravaggio that Langdon most wishes we knew.

The second segment features Ahmed Alsoudani, an Iraqi-American painter whose work is on view now as part of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Matrix series. His first American museum exhibition, it’s on view through January 6, 2013. Last year Alsoudani was featured in three separate exhibitions at and during the Venice Biennale: including the Pavilion of Iraq, the Pan-Arab world’s show and a show at the Pinault Collection. [Image: Ahmed Alsoudani, Untitled, 2011.]

How to listen: To download the program to your PC/mobile device, click here. Subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunesSoundCloud or RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com. Also, check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page!

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click through to the jump.

Caravaggio, Cardsharps, 1595. Collection of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.

Caravaggio, The Fortune Teller, ca. 1594. Collection of the Capitoline, Rome.

Caravaggio, Boy Bitten by a Lizard, 1594-96. Collection of the Roberto Longhi Foundation, Florence.

Valentin de Boulogne, Cardplayers, 1620s. Collection of the Gemaldegalerie, Dresden.

Valentin de Boulogne, Soldiers Playing Cards, ca. 1620-22. Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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  1. […] Cardsharps. Download the show, subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, RSS. See images of art discussed on this week’s program. « Weekend roundup Blog Home Analysis, Collections, […]

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