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ARTH-100-TEST II – CARAVAGGIO Essay

Carvaggio
I want to introduce you, now, to an artist who used strongly contrasting values of light and dark to create very dramatic works of art.

His name is Michelangelo Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610). He was born Michelangelo Merisi in Caravaggio, Italy. Later, he was given the name of his birthplace. Like Rembrandt, he is known today simply as Caravaggio.

Emmanus
Emmanus
In the painting, The Supper at Emmaus, we see a moment of dramatic revelation. This is a scene from the New Testament that takes place in the aftermath of the crucifixion.

Christ’s disciples are in shock and disarray at the sudden death of Jesus, and the disappearance of his body. Two of his disciples are on the road to the town of Emmaus, when a stranger joins them. They invite the stranger to supper at a local inn. It is only when they are about to begin the meal that the disciples recognize the man as Jesus himself, resurrected.

One man throws out his arms in shock and surprise, while the other starts from his chair. The moment is made more dramatic by the theatrical lighting of the scene.

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Mangelan
In The Conversion of the Magdalen, Caravaggio illustrates a scene where Mary Magdalen, on the right, is considering the words of her sister Martha. Martha, her face in shadow, is challenging Mary’s vanity, symbolized by the mirror on the right, and is counting on her fingers the miracles of Christ. The spotlight shines on Mary as she undergoes her conversion; she will renounce her former life of sin and become a devoted follower of Jesus.
Caravaggio
Caravaggio was an innovator in Western art.

He created scenes of extraordinary realism that were very dramatically lit. This innovation – the use of dramatic light and shadow (dramatic value contrasts) – is what I call “theatrical lighting”. Caravaggio’s scenes seem to take place on a darkened stage in a theater, the action lit by a single, powerful spotlight. His figures aren’t idealized, but seem realistically human.

Caravaggio’s Influence
We have already seen evidence of the profound influence of Caravaggio on artists who came after. Rembrandt is the greatest artist to use Caravaggio’s theatrical lighting techniques and honest realism in his own work. In the Self-Portrait with a Palette, below, Rembrandt emerges out of the darkness into the spotlight. The Return of the Prodigal Son could be taking place on a stage set, with the spotlight focusing our attention on father and son.

Rembrandt softens the light, sacrificing some of the stark drama for a warmer glow of light on the figures.

Caravaggio’s Influence
Now, Caravaggio was an artistic genius, but he was not a nice man. He had an explosive temper, and was often involved in nasty brawls. When a waiter was too slow in serving him the artichokes he’d ordered, Caravaggio stabbed him in the groin.

Ouch! That’s not nice! He was imprisoned for a time for killing a man in a dispute over the score of a tennis match. Bad sportsmanship! Caravaggio was always on the run from either thugs or the law. He traveled throughout Italy to escape his pursuers, painting masterpieces along the way. His “lifestyle” finally caught up with him and he died of exhaustion and disease at the age of thirty-nine.

Another artist profoundly influenced by Caravaggio was Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593-1651). She is an important artist for two reasons. First, she is the first woman in the history of Western art to make a significant contribution to the art of her time. Second, Artemisia was important in spreading the influence of Caravaggio across Europe.

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ARTH-100-TEST II - CARAVAGGIO Essay
Artscolumbia
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Carvaggio I want to introduce you, now, to an artist who used strongly contrasting values of light and dark to create very dramatic works of art. His name is Michelangelo Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610). He was born Michelangelo Merisi in Caravaggio, Italy. Later, he was given the name of his birthplace. Like Rembrandt, he is known tod
2018-07-19 05:56:46
ARTH-100-TEST II - CARAVAGGIO Essay
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