• Todd Olson. Photo: Julie Wolf

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Gallery Talk: Todd Olson on Old Masters in a New Light

Todd Olson, professor of early modern art in UC Berkeley’s Department of Art History, compares two seventeenth-century paintings on view in Old Masters in a New Light. Olson illustrates the close relationship between religious experience and eroticism through Giovanni Battista Caracciolo’s Saint John the Baptist, where the ephebic male body only barely suggests the prophet's ascetic life and his eventual martyrdom. On the contrary, Giovanni Girolamo Savaldo’s depiction of The Lamentation of the Dead Christ offers ways of understanding the entanglement of loss, grief, and desire in Christian devotion.