Caravaggio (1571-1610) came from a small village near Milan, Italy. He had studied Mannerist style painting with local painters, but he quickly abandoned this style. Caravaggio hates the classicism that pursues ideal beauty, and is even more dissatisfied with the bizarre shapes and obscure style art. What he wants is reality, and he doesn’t even fear the ugliness in reality.
In the 1690s, Caravaggio came to Rome to try to break out of the world. “The Boy Bitten by a Lizard” was his work during this period. In the picture, the boy receded from pain and his expression was distorted. There was a flower on his head. This depiction shocked the world at the time and caused a lot of controversy. Even so, Caravaggio’s superb painting skills have attracted the attention of patrons, especially his detailed depiction of the reflective parts of the vase, which shows the artist’s strong modeling ability.
The first important public order Caravaggio received came from the Contarelli Chapel of Saint-Louis Church in Rome, where he left the “Call of Matthew”. Matthew is a tax collector. In the picture, he and his companions are counting the taxes collected in a dimly lit room. Jesus suddenly opens the door and enters. His barefoot image is in sharp contrast with the tax officers in gorgeous costumes. He pointed to Matthew and said, “Follow me.” Facing the uninvited guest who broke into the room, Matthew was obviously a little surprised. He pointed his finger at himself, as if he was confirming Jesus’ intentions.
Boy bitten by lizard. Caravaggio, Italy
Caravaggio is familiar with classical paintings. In this work, his depiction of Jesus gestures borrowed from Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling fresco “The Creation of Adam”, but he did not depict a perfect human body, clean and tidy. Clothing, but with real people as models, showing the world in which one lives in the paintings. He overturned the traditional use of light in classical painting and created a dramatic stage effect with a strong contrast between light and dark. This painting method of using strong light in a dim background is called “shadowism.” Caravaggio’s “shadowism” was a response to the classical paintings of the Renaissance period. Artists represented by Leonardo used soft light to create elegant and graceful images, while Caravaggio’s images depicted in his works are even more elegant. It’s true.
Death of the Virgin Caravaggio, Italy
Caravaggio’s work was controversial at the time, and his “Death of the Virgin” was rejected by the commissioned church. Because of the unkempt, pale face, swollen body and bare feet of the Virgin in the painting, this image of the Virgin is far from the traditional image of the Virgin since the Renaissance. As “Death of the Virgin” was rejected by the subscriber, Caravaggio had to find another buyer. Fortunately, Rubens, the most prestigious painter in Flanders, persuaded the Duke of Mantua to buy the painting.
Caravaggio came from the bottom of society and was irritable. He often participated in gang fights and various duels. Therefore, he became a frequent visitor to courts and prisons. However, he was very artistically talented and was protected by patrons every time. In May 1606, he had a quarrel with his friends over gambling issues and killed each other in a weapon fight, so he had to embark on the road of escape. Caravaggio will become a well-known painter wherever he goes. He has left immortal works in Naples and the island of Malta, but his combative nature has never changed. In 1608, he was arrested and imprisoned for fighting. In 1609, he returned to Naples hoping to receive an amnesty. In the summer of 1610, Caravaggio died in a foreign land on the way back to Rome.
David Caravaggio, Italy with Goliath head in hand
”David with Goliath Head” is a work created by Caravaggio in 1607. This painting is a rare work in art history that expresses the “death of the painter”. The story of David and Goliath comes from the “Bible”. The young David hit the giant Goliath with a stone. Goliath fell to the ground in pain. David took the opportunity to cut off Goliath’s head. The story of David and Goliath is also one of the themes favored by Western artists. The sculptor Michelangelo’s “David” depicts David carrying a sling and preparing to go to the battlefield. However, Caravaggio’s “David with Goliath Head” is shocking. In the painting, David picked up Goliath’s head. Goliath’s face showed the pain of being beheaded, one of his eyes was swollen, and there was bruise on his face. Caravaggio used himself as a prototype to portray the image of Goliath, and unabashedly portrayed his appearance after being beaten up in his works.
”David with Goliath Head” was confirmed as the collection of Sipione Borghese of the Holy See as early as 1613, so Caravaggio is very likely to use this painting to seek refuge from him during his escape. . This is not the first time Caravaggio has painted himself “beheaded”. He sometimes turns himself into a banshee in Greek mythology in his works. Medusa is the Gorgon in Greek mythology. Her eyes can turn people into stone. The hero Perseus killed Medusa with the help of a reflective bronze shield. Caravaggio painted Medusa as himself in “Medusa”, so Medusa became an androgynous monster in his works.
Judith Caravaggio, Italy, who cut off the head of Holoferne
Although the authenticity of the painting “Jude assassinated Holoferne” found in the attic by the Frenchman mentioned at the beginning of the article is still controversial, Caravaggio did paint works on the same subject. In “Yudi Who Cuts Holoferne’s Head”, the heroine Yodi grabs Holoferne’s hair in one hand and stabbed with a knife in the other. The blood spewed out and stained the white sheets. Caravaggio is not only good at creating stage-style picture effects through strong light contrast, but also good at expressing intense character dynamics, which all hint at the birth of Baroque art.