JUDITH BEHEADING HOLOFERNES 1598, MARTERDOME OF SAINT MATTHEW 1599 The images I am drawn to are of the male nudes which have such a sensual quality to them of SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST 1602, JOHN THE BAPTIST 1605. Caravaggio always painted from reality, which was revolutionary at the time. He used real subjects that he would pose and stage and paint. A painting would have taken weeks to produce and they did not have the means of modern light to maintain such consistency. The artist studios of this area where so elaborate and much of what was seen had to be illuminated by candle. I have seen images of massive candelabras with a hundred candles on them that were attached to a pulley system and become fully adjustable to create a constant source. They would also use light from a window at specific times of the day, or a series of mirrors that could reflect the light on the subject and be adjusted as the light changed through out the day. The depth and tone created by actual light is stunning and adds such a multi-dimensional quality to the subject. But I think what is most remarkable about Caravaggio’s images is that he gives such inner life to his subjects. It’s almost like he reveals their souls though expression, position and of course light and color. I am entranced to look into these visions.
For today images I used Caravaggio’s painting BOY WITH A BASKET OF FRUIT 1593 (bottom) as my source of study.
VIEW FULL IMAGE: BOY WITH BASKET OF FRUIT