CARAVAGGIO'S REVOLUTION IN LIGHT AND DARK
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, was born in September 1571. He created new ways of seeing that had a profound effect on artists all over Europe. He was a pioneer of the Italian Baroque style that grew out of the Mannerist era. Italian Baroque art was not widely different to Italian Renaissance painting but the color palette was richer and darker and the theme of religion was more popular.
Caravaggio's works were so controversial in their own time and for centuries after, specially for their utterly innovative and revolutionary style. The intense, dramatic contrasts of light and dark, resolute realism, meticulous attention to naturalistic detail and approachable, life-like models set Caravaggio's paintings apart from all the masters that preceded him.
From his crazy life to his revolutionary paintings and amazing technique, Caravaggio has never left anyone indifferent from the sixteenth century to the present day. Caravaggio revolutionized painting, and he continue inspiring artists even more than 400 years after his death.
The Calling of Saint Matthew
The Calling of Saint Matthew is one of Caravaggio’s masterpiece that, depict the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow him. The painting shows Matthew the tax collector sitting at a table with four other men. Jesus Christ and Saint Peter have entered the room, and Jesus is pointing at Matthew. A beam of light illuminates the faces of the men at the table who are looking at Jesus Christ.
The painting was completed in 1599–1600 for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it remains today.
The conversion on the Way to Damascus
The Conversion on the Way to Damascus is a masterpiece painted in 1601 for the Cerasi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in Rome. The Conversion of Paul depicts a moment of intense religious ecstasy. This scene shows the very moment Paul is overcome with the spirit of Jesus Christ and has been flung off of his horse.
Caravaggio's first version of the Conversion painting is in the collection of Principe Guido Odescalchi. It is a much brighter and more Mannerist canvas, with an angel-sustained Jesus reaching downwards towards a blinded Paul.
Judith Beheading Holofernes
Judith Beheading Holofernes is a masterpiece that depicts Judith beheading Holofernes. It was painted in c.1599-1599.
The widow Judith first charms the Assyrian general Holofernes, then decapitates him in his tent. The painting was rediscovered in 1950 and is part of the collection of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome.
The seven works of mercy
The Seven Works of Mercy also known as The Seven Acts of Mercy, is an oil painting from 1607. The painting depicts the seven corporal works of mercy in traditional Catholic belief, which are a set of compassionate acts concerning the material needs of others.
The painting was made for, and is still housed in, the church of Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples. Originally, it was meant to be seven separate panels around the church; however, Caravaggio combined all seven works of mercy in one composition which became the church's altarpiece.