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Segmation: The Art of Pieceful Imaging
April 2010
Volume 4, Number 4


New SegPlay® PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay® PC pattern collections available this month. The first set is Friends and Foes. Our good friends at Drawshop.com have provided us with a number of colorful, unique, illustrations of friends and foes. You'll fully enjoy coloring these patterns including Cupid, Superman, Uncle Sam, Santa, tourist, bagpiper, car salesman, magician, wizard, skateboarder, warrior, chef, alien, DJ, party girl, and many, many more.
Friends and Foes



The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Caravaggio - Italian Master of Lighting. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was an Italian painter who is best known for his dramatic use of lighting. His mastering of "Chiaroscuro", a technique of using strong contrasts between light and dark to achieve volume, made the style distinctive among his works. Caravaggio had a quarrelsome nature, which caused his some trouble in his life. His paintings were frequently of religious themes, along with numerous still lives and portraits. Our pattern set contains most of his most notable works including "Boy with a Basket of Fruit", "The Cardsharks", "The Calling of Saint Matthew", "Bacchus", "Sleeping Cupid", "Boy Bitten by a Lizard", "Penitent Magdalene", "The Lute-Player", "The Sacrifice of Isaac", "Portrait of Maffeo Barberini", "Supper at Emmaus", "Judith Beheading Holofernes", and "Medusa".
Caravaggio - Italian Master of Lighting


Segmation News

Our Facebook fan page is gaining fans...Now over 500 enthusiastic users that have now joined in the first few months! It will allow our SegPlay and SegPlayPC users a chance to communicate with us as well as themselves, and shelp guide our future plans. If you're a Facebook member, please feel free to join our new fan page (http://www.facebook.com/Segmation). You can also search for Segmation in Facebook. Feel free to particate in our discussions and introduce Segmation to your friends.


In conjunction with the Facebook fan page, we also recently introduced a Segmation blog that has been posting frequent fun, entertaining, and informative articles that will feed on to the fan page as well. The blog, titled "Outside the Lines", can be found at http://segmation.com/blog.

New product development continues and we hope to have a revamped line of mobile products late this summer. We'll keep you posted on our progress.


We're looking for suggestions for future artists of the month. If you think we've overlooked one of your favorites, let us know.


We're always looking for more appealing art pieces for our SegPlay®PC paint by number collection. If you are an aspiring artist, illustrator, or photographer and am interested in collaborating on a pattern set, drop us an email submit@segmation.com


Hope everyone is enjoying their Spring. We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter. Please feel free to pass it on to a friend or colleague. If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please drop us an email to: comments@segmation.com.


Happy painting
-Mark & Beth

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Artist Of The Month:
Caravaggio - Italian Master of Lighting

Caravaggio - Italian Master of Lighting image

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was an Italian baroque painter whose emotional compositions and dramatic use of light and shade, known as chiaroscuro, were to have a profound influence on European art.

Caravaggio’s short life is a story of intense contrasts, like the deep shadows and bright light of his paintings, for although he was one of the most profoundly spiritual painters of the Western world, his personal life was wild, dissipated and violent. His passionate and uncontrollable personality led him to commit murder and subsequently go into hiding to escape punishment. Yet his religious paintings exude a profound and sacred quality that show no traces of the artist’s aggressive personality.

Michelangelo Merisi was born in the village of Caravaggio near Milan. As was customary in those days, when he became a professional painter he took the name of his place of birth and became known as Michelangelo Caravaggio. His father was an architect and majordomo in the household of the Marquis of Caravaggio. The young Caravaggio was a talented boy and began studying painting at the age of 13 as an apprentice in a Milan art studio specializing in still life paintings.

In 1592, when he was 21 years old, Caravaggio decided to try his luck in Rome. He started out at the studio of Mannerist painter Giuseppe Cesari where he produced fruit and flower paintings. None of these have survived. Tiring quickly of this type of work, Caravaggio decided to go it alone. But he was openly critical of his peers and frequently boasted that he could do better. His personality quickly made him enemies and his naturalistic style was in sharp contrast to the Mannerist style prevalent at the time. Patrons were not lining up at his doorstep and no commissions came his way. During this period he was painting mainly adolescent boys, taking his models from the decaying neighborhood in which he lived. His personal life and circumstances were dreadfully unstable and he suffered great deprivation. Nevertheless, he painted some 40 works during that period, such as The Music Party and Boy with a Fruit Basket. But in 1595 Caravaggio’s luck changed. His paintings became noticed by Cardinal Francesco Del Monte, who took him under his wing and became his first patron. Del Monte gave Caravaggio room and board in his house as well as a generous salary.

In 1600 Caravaggio received his first public commission to produce a series of paintings for the Contarelli Chapel in Rome. The three scenes from the life of Saint Matthew created a sensation on the Rome art scene. The paintings were such a success that commissions began to pour in. Yet just when everything was going so well, Caravaggio’s turbulent personality got the better of him. He got into arguments and fights with fellow artists, was arrested for throwing stones at the Roman Guards and even wounded a man with firearms. In 1606 this series of incidents culminated in murder. During a violent brawl over a bet on a tennis game, Caravaggio killed a man.

Caravaggio was forced to flee for his life, penniless and friendless. Faced with adversity and lacking patrons and protection, it was during this period that Caravaggio would produce his greatest masterpieces. Caravaggio first went into hiding in Naples where he stayed for several months and painted the Flagellation of Christ. But it was not long before he got into another fight and committed murder once again. Caravaggio was forced to flee, this time to Malta where he was made a knight and painted the Beheading of St. John the Baptist for the cathedral of Valetta. But his wrathful personality once again caught up with him and he was jailed. He managed to escape and fled to Sicily in 1608 where he painted several dramatic, multi-figured religious compositions, including the Raising of Lazarus.

During all this time, Caravaggio’s admirers in Rome were interceding on his behalf, for his constant flight could only end with a pardon from the Pope and in 1609 Caravaggio did indeed receive a rumor that he was about to be given a pardon. Overjoyed, he set sail for Naples in July 1610. But bad luck was never far away where Caravaggio was concerned. He got into a fight with a sailor on the ship and disembarked at Porto Ercole, his belongings confiscated by the crew. Wounded, angry and desperate he ran up and down the beach until he was gripped by fever. He collapsed on the beach and died there alone. Three days after his death, the Pope issued him with a pardon.


You can find a large collection of Caravaggio patterns to use with SegPlayPC™  here.



Art in the News:
Last Supper Gets Larger Over Time
Source: USA Today

It’s official. Food portions and plate sizes have been getting bigger and bigger since the year 1,000. Two researchers have analyzed 52 paintings of the Last Supper, including some of the most famous depictions by Titian, El Greco and Leonardo da Vinci, using computers to compare the size of the plates, loaves of bread and portions. They found that the portions grew by 69%, the plate size by 66% and the bread by 23%, with the biggest size increase occurring after 1500.

The report’s authors noted that the safety, abundance and affordability of food has dramatically increased over the last thousand years and that, “as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner”.


Who Killed Caravaggio? DNA Tests Could Solve the Mystery
Source: Reuters

A group of Italian anthropologists is hoping to solve the art world’s most mysterious murder using DNA testing. They recently went to the town of Caravaggio in Italy and DNA tested six possible descendants of the famous artist, Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio to compare them with skeletons they have isolated as possibly being the remains of the great master.

Since Caravaggio had no children, the team looked for people with the same surname, Merisi, to see if there is a genetic link to the great painter. But the Merisis being tested were rather more skeptical. “I would be very surprised if this DNA test shows a match” said Stefano Merisi, while Francesco Merisi said that while he would be happy to be descended from Caravaggio he had no great expectations that it would change his life.

There are many theories about how Caravaggio died, the most popular being that he died of fever on a deserted beach. But in 2001 a new theory was put forward by an Italian researcher who claimed to have found a death certificate showing that Caravaggio died in hospital.

Outside the Lines
Art Trivia

When French painter Nicolas Poussin saw Caravaggio’s Death of the Virgin, he angrily exclaimed “Such a vulgar painting can only be the work of a vulgar man. The ugliness of his paintings will lead him to hell!”

Paolo Uccello’s daughter, Antonia was a Carmelite nun and also a painter. Art historian Giorgio Vasari called her "a daughter who knew how to draw."

Although Titian was very wealthy, he was also very stingy and always crying poverty which led fellow artist Jacopo Bassano to caricature him as a moneylender in his painting of the Purification of the Temple.

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