Betrayed By Technique

unconditioned expression

Boy with a drawing – Painted by Giovanni Francesco Caroto (1480-1558)

The painting above was stolen last Thursday from the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona. It is part of the robbery of masterpieces worth an estimate €15 million, and among them are works of great names like Rubens, Tintoretto, Pisanello and Bellini. But also this little painting by Giovanni Francesco Caroto, showing a boy holding up a child’s drawing, presumably his own.

Fascinating image.

I am a big fan of children’s ‘art’, their unconditioned expression (a category on my blog) poured onto paper, or whatever shape or form it comes in. I love the energy of it, the enthusiasm to make something they have in mind, with free use of color and shape, no limits, no rules, just showing what they feel. Surely there are theories trying to unravel what it is that children’s art is, demystifying the art part. But I believe, it is the sediment of (a spark of) inspiration. Whether the child actually can draw or not. Technique is out of the equation.

But! this is where the painting of the Boy With A Drawing becomes dubious: the drawing the proudly smiling youngster is holding, is done by an adult, obviously. Caroto tried to imitate the flawless fauvism of a child’s drawing for the sake of the painting, and naturally failed. Because once you master a skill, it is incredibly hard to go back to not knowing how to. (This post is not about Picasso etc, so I leave it here) It has become a stickman, a mockery, really.

Going by Google and some written pieces on the internet, this little painting is incredibly popular, and replica prints of it probably decorate many homes. Nobody cares the drawing is not the real thing, everybody understands what it is about: a child proud of his drawing. And in this sense it is a melancholic yet riotous picture: A portrait of an I-can’t-do-it-but-do-it-anyway attitude, a rebellious phase many may recognize and remember.

Unconditioned expression

Many of many more reproductions of the painting 

It is about youth. {And someone apparently ordered it to be stolen from the Castellovecchio Musem…}

About Wilson

relentless hunter gatherer of soothing beauty, great and small
This entry was posted in ART, EARLY WORKS, KIDS ART, REVIEW, TEXT and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Betrayed By Technique

  1. Pingback: Obama art | iforinspirationblog

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