the calling of saint matthew by caravaggio used what technique

The calling of saint matthew by caravaggio used what technique
In this painting, the gloom and the canvassed window appears to situate the table indoors. Christ brings the true light to the dark space of the sitting tax-collectors. This painting records the collision of two worlds — the ineluctable power of the immortal faith, and the mundane, foppish, world of Levi. Jesus spears him with a beam of light, with an apparent effortless hand gesture he exerts an inescapable sublime gravity, with no need for wrenching worldly muscularity. Jesus’ bare feet are classical simplicity in contrast with the dandified accountants; being barefoot may also symbolize holiness, as if one is on holy ground. Similarly to his treatment of Paul in the Conversion on the Way to Damascus, Caravaggio chronicles the moment when a daily routine is interrupted by the miraculous. Around the man to become Matthew are either the unperceptive or unperturbed bystanders.
Over a decade before, Cardinal Matthieu Cointerel (in Italian, Matteo Contarelli) had left in his will funds and specific instructions for the decoration of a chapel based on themes related to his namesake, St Matthew. The dome of the chapel was decorated with frescoes by the late Mannerist artist Cavalier D’Arpino, Caravaggio’s former employer and one of the most popular painters in Rome at the time. But as D’Arpino became busy with royal and papal patronage, Cardinal Francesco Del Monte, Caravaggio’s patron and also the prefect of the Fabbrica of St Peter’s (the Vatican office for Church property), intervened to obtain for Caravaggio his first major church commission and his first painting with more than a handful of figures.

The calling of saint matthew by caravaggio used what technique
• Amor Vincit Omnia (Love Conquers All) (1602) Gemaldegalerie SMPK, Berlin.
For analysis of paintings by
Italian Baroque artists
like Caravaggio, see
our educational articles:
Art Evaluation and
How to Appreciate Paintings.

Others though believe that the bearded man is instead pointing to the young man hunched at the end of the table, suggesting that this is Matthew, who is about to look up to see Jesus. Still others posit that Caravaggio’s painting is intentionally ambiguous.
Both were completed between 1599 and 1600 and painted in oil on canvas. These pieces brought Caravaggio renown throughout Rome for his use of dramatic lighting and realism, which represented a departure from the Mannerist style that had dominated up to that point.

The calling of saint matthew by caravaggio used what technique
Saint Matthew was one of the twelve apostles, and author of the first Gospel. The tale of the calling of Saint Matthew is found in the New Testament, Matthew 9:9: “And when Jesus passed on from thence, he saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew; and he said to him: Follow me. And he arose up and followed him.”
Caravaggio’s paintings constitute some of the most stunning works in the entire history of Western art. Observing the evolution of his style from his early works to his last paintings is a chronicle of his life.

The calling of saint matthew by caravaggio used what technique
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The Italian Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) is renowned today for creating a moralizing, and at times controversial, body of work. In this text lesson, we will dissect the meaning behind The Calling of Saint Matthew, the life-size oil painting that launched Caravaggio’s career and made him the most desired religious painter in Rome.


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