Adventures of Bernardo and Salvatore

Caravaggio. Conversion of St. Paul on the Way to Damascus, 1600. 230x175cm. Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome

They entered the church of Santa Maria del Popolo to give thanks for having arrived without misfortune. In a side chapel they saw their first painting. A priest told them it was Caravaggio's Conversion of Saint Paul. Bernardo looked at Salvatore and made a face. Saint Paul was sprawled on the ground, having fallen off his horse in his moment of enlightenment, and the huge horse, from edge to edge of the canvas, was headed away from them.

Slowly Salvatore sniffed and made a face too. "The rump of that horse is so close I can smell it."

"I hope that the greatest art of the world will be something more beautiful than the fat ass of a horse," Bernardo said, worried, and because Salvatore was a Tuscan, he worried too.