12/3/2012 3:07:00 PM
FAH 230 The new turn: Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi
Michelangelo Merisi – born in northern Italy in Caravaggio.
1592, 1593- talented and ambitious young artist decided to move to Rome
with no patrons. Rome was an artistic center at the time; a place where he’d
have opportunity with more patrons.
Boy with a basket of fruit. 1593. Rome. Borghese Gallery
Copy- imitation of realism; Realism of still life, fruits.
Boy with make up, beautiful shoulders. Strong contrast between black hair
and red lip. Background divided into zones – one dark one light. One of the earliest
painting on this subject
Proposed it again – Caravaggio. Boy bitten by a lizard. 1594 Florence,
See the studio through water. Beautiful boy with erotic quality.- red lips,
eyebrows. Volumes hair. Proposing something new: Imitating the cruel
without idealization. Strategy- to shock the art market in 16 thcentury Rome and to get more
patrons. Young, unknown, didn’t have his own niche. Had to invent a new
genre, erotic/ homoerotic quality.
Caravaggio. Bacchus. 1595-96. Oil on canvas. 94 x 85.1 cm. Florence, Uffizi.
Viewers are asked to immediately participate in this painting; because of the
glass of wine offered to the viewer, gesture. Dark color with flashy skin. He
is proposing not only the shoulder, hand touching bone. Esthetic beauty in
this work + size of work. Caravaggio. Cardsharps. Ca. 1594, Kimbell. Art Museum. Fort Worth.
The beauty of this painting is really in the colors/ contrasting. Background
has a dark/ light zone. Created by copying the models in front of him in his
own studio. Sources say that he was getting street people/prostitute to
model for him. New in artistic practice in Rome at the time
Caravaggio. Musicians. Ca. 1595. New York. Metropolitan Museum Musicians vs Bacchus
Similarities : boys dressed up in certain way- playing music. Contrast
between light and darkness. Musicians are almost entering our own space.
Contarelli Chapel. Sa Luigi dei Francesi. Patron: Matthew Contarelli.
Caravaggio. Calling of St. Matthew. 1599-1600. 3.8x 3.4 m. oil on canvas.
Rome. San Luigi dei Francesi
Asked to paint stories of st. matthew, which was the patron of his chapel. He
wanted his own patron to honor in a way. First public work. About the work: Christ is entering into this room. And his finger calling on
matthew to follow him. The light comes from the right- light emphasizes
Christ’s gesture; Lot of discussion about who is matthew.
-For a long time it was perceived that matthew was the third left character.
This figure is aware of Christ coming into the room and then calling on him.
“pointing gesture saying me?”
-Now other scholars are saying that he is pointing towards someone else,
the one who is counting the money.
-Carravaggio is painting the moment just before the revelation. What will
follow is that Matthew will be called up. He will see Christ and decide to
follow him. New reading of this painting gives new additional importance to
the very temporality of this painting.
-Christ’s feet are pointing the other side while face and gesture are facing
matthew. Sign that Christ is just coming into the room. The light has
perceived him illuminating the room.
Caravaggio. Martyrdom of St. Matthew. 1599-1600. Oil on canvas. Rome.
San Luigi Dei Francesi.
The saint Is already on the ground, down, but the execution is already on his
body. He is going to stab and kill the saint. Element of temporality. Scholars
point out that Caravaggio is inscribed in this vary subject.
Martyrdom of St. Matthew vs Calling of St Matthew.
Lighting , scenes following.
Caravaggio. Inspiration of St. Matthew. 2 version. 1502. Oil on canvas.
Rome. San Luigi dei Francesi. 1 version destroyed.
-because it seems as if St. matthew is illiterate to write. Bare feet directly
showing at the priest, not appropriate for the area.
Took into consideration for the second painting, responded the critiques by
giving a totally different composition. Saint is turned on the other side, not
directly showing his bare feet at the priest. The angel is on the top, and
suggesting/inspiring the Saint.
Private patrons were fine with erotic boys, but public work had to accord
with the religion of 17 century art. Caravaggio. The conversion of St. Paul. Ca. 1601. Rome. Church of Santa
Maria del Popolo. Patron:Tiberio Cerasi.
-Paul was riding his horse and suddenly Christ appears to him and asked him
to follow him. These kind of subjects are completely illuminated because
Christ has been sublimated into the light. On the ground, open arms, almost
replicating the gesture of Christ cruxification.
-The conversion has not yet happened and he cannot see, but the light has
come and the very moment of the conversion is about to happen. The horse
seems as if aware of what is going on because it raises its leg to not injure
Paul on the ground.
-Steps- he did not draw. He prepared canvas, did basic outlines with paint
brush, then shaded dark areas and so on.
-New in the 17 thcentury, and he received a lot of critiques.
Caravaggio. Death of the Virgin. 1601-2. Paris, Louvre. (Originally painted
for Laerio Cherubini for the church of Santa Maria della Scala Rome)
By 1607 Rubens had persuaded the Duke of Mantua. Vincenzo Gonzaga to
buy this painting. -Religious subject. The virgin is actually a dead body. The virgin had bare
feet. Not appropriate for divine entity.
-Rumors also flow that Caravaggio used a prostitute for the painting of the
virgin. Too crowded the scene.
-Religious and doctrinaire reas