Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Artist Blog - Entry #27

Basket of Fruit, Oil on Canvas, 46 x 64 cm
Amor Vincet Omnia, oil on canvas, 154 × 110 cm
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter, born in Milan in the mid XVI century and died at an early age of 38 in the beginning XVII century. Although his creative career and life was short-lived, Caravaggio created a huge number of spectacular paintings now located in museums all over the world. In contrast to a lot of other painters, most of Caravaggio's works are of religious theme and less of a mythological. Most of his paintings depict life and death of Christ as well as numerous holy people such as John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Saint Matthew and others. His work nicely captures emotion - the state of human being. That being said, Caravaggio's paintings range from still life to portraiture to really complicated compositions involving a group of people. Themes can be quite violent, reminiscent of the times of the Dark Ages of the 15th century following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. It is very apparent in "Judith Beheading Holofernes", "Sacrifice of Isaac", and "David with the Head of Goliath" just to name a few. Most of Caravaggio's works have a black or dark brown background, done on purpose to focus our eyes on the people being portrayed. He successfully completes the task by dramatic use of lighting. Makes me think of light created by candlesticks - a sort of dark and gloomy setting to be in. Smiles are non-existent (with the exception of very few paintings, a single example would be "Amor Victorious") which is to be expected of that period of time. Caravaggio shows a lot of pain, fear, and misery in the faces of human beings, again perfectly capturing what life was like back then. (word count - 283)
Sacrifice of Isaac, Oil on canvas, 104 x 135 cm
Judith Beheading Holofernes, Oil on canvas, 145 x 195 cm
David with the Head of Goliath, Oil on wood, 90.5 x 116 cm

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