Thursday, September 22, 2016
Caravaggio; The Calling of Saint Matthew
Caravaggio was believed to have "injected new life" into Italian painting. He created large paintings with incredible detail in a "down and dirty" style, rather than soft and nude technique of Mannerism. He recreated religious art in that he made saints and miracles seem ordinary.
What I like a lot about this painting is that the light shines on many faces. Each person that looks at this painting could see a different person the light shines on. It is as if the light is supposed to show who Saint Matthew is. I would assume that that would be Jesus and an Apostle on the right side of the painting, and they are pointing to which person Matthew is, but "Jesus's" feet show that he is leaving. I think Matthew is the man hunched over on the table counting coins. Some may think that it would be the man at the table pointing, because the light is shining on his face, but I think he is pointing to the man over the coins. He looks the most "ordinary" of all the men.
One thing that took me by surprise was how big the painting was. It is 10.5 feet by 11 feet, which was bigger than expected. Also, it is believed that he used camera obscura to allow him to trace his piece on a canvas.