An Unsuspected Sacred Love – Sacred and Profane Love by Giovanni Baglione

Giovanni Baglione - Sacred and Profane Love
Giovanni Baglione – Sacred and Profane Love

This painting has a long story of conflicts between Baglione and Caravaggio, that I’m not going to get into. I am just interpreting without knowing or at least pretending that I am not aware of the hidden anecdotes (but for the records they are amusing).

Upon laying my eyes on this painting I’m blinded by the amount of light shining through the angel’s (Sacred Love) chest. Something about the main character, Sacred Love reflects at first calm and soothe. His right eye is poised and focused on the man sitting below. The elegant gesture of his arm, buff and ripped, makes a half circle with his hand slightly tilted and holding an object. This mysterious item is not identifiable because it is blended with the dark background.

The face of the creature sitting behind Sacred Love reveals that something bad is set to happen. Perhaps the scene is not as innocent as it may seem. Sacred Love’s left hand fingers are reminiscent of a dainty and feminine ballet dancer’s pose. Nevertheless, by looking closely I imagine that this hand will, at some point, hold Cupid’s little body to let the item which I have now identified as a sharp destructive object, enter his heart.

There is no escape possible for Cupid. He is trapped in between Sacred Love’s arms and legs. The look on his face translates fear and oppression, two feelings I certainly wasn’t excepting from the beginning when I was contemplating the beauty of the lighting.

It doesn’t seem like anything can come across Sacred Love’s plan. The assassination will most likely happen, no carnage or bloody flesh, just a quick and painless death.

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