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His full name was Michelangelo Merisi, but he was ... Boy Bitten by Lizard ... Where is the lizard? Does the boy's body look real? What is the source of light? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CARAVAGGIO 15721610

CARAVAGGIO (1572-1610)
David with the Head of Goliath
  • His full name was Michelangelo Merisi, but he
    was called Caravaggio after the region in Italy
    where he grew up.
  • The head of Goliath here is the only known
    self-portrait of him. Remember that Goliath was a
    giant who was defeated by Davids slingshot.
  • He is considered the best example of the Italian
    Baroque and was a strong influence on later
    artists like Rembrandt and Valazquez.

Boy Bitten by Lizard
  • Born to a well-off family, he studied art styles
    in Venice and was quickly a standout.
  • His early works show the emphasis on realistic
    paintings of plants and insects.
  • He moved to Rome to follow influential patrons.
  • After an initial struggle, he got good
  • Where is the lizard? Does the boys body look
    real? What is the source of light?

The Card Sharps
  • Unlike other artists of his day, he worked from
    live models, using family, servants and friends.
  • He painted directly onto the canvas, refusing to
    do the preparatory drawings other artists used.
  • He wanted to show realism, rejecting the habit of
    idealizing figures used in his time.
  • Who is being cheated? Who is signaling the card
    holding? How can you tell?

The Card Sharps
  • This picture shows two men cheating a third in a
    game of cards. Note the cards that one man is
    pulling out of his waist while the other man
    signals to him.
  • The beautiful color is typical of the Venetian
    style. The light, however, is uniquely
    Caravaggio. Note the contrast between the shadow
    and the light.
  • What is the source of light? Do young men still
    dress like this?

The Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1602)
  • Matthew, an illiterate tax collector, sits as
    Christ motions him to follow .
  • His use of chiaroscuro, a term for the use of
    light and shadow in art, is unmatched. Note how
    the light draws your eye from Christs hand to
    Matthews face.
  • The scene is in a tavern, which offended some
  • What is the source of light? What do you first

The Calling of St. Matthew
  • The window is made of oiled paper, as glass
    windows were rare at that time.
  • The rich colors show that the men at the table
    are wealthy, while Christ and the angel are in
    dull colors. The halo around is the only sign of
    Christs status.
  • ---------------------------------
  • Do you make decisions about people based on their
  • Do you think interiors actually were this dark
    before electricity?

Conversion of St. Paul (1601)
  • In the biblical story, Paul is riding a horse on
    the road to Damascus with his servant. He
    suddenly sees a brilliant flash of light, and
    hears the voice of God. He falls off his horse,
    having been blinded by the light. Paul remains
    blind until he is baptized as a follower of
  • In the painting, the light is part of the miracle
    and thus unseen by the servant. The servant is
    also not bathed in the light, since the light is
    seen only by Paul.
  • Do you feel the tension in Pauls body? Can you
    tell if he is blinded? Does the horses hoof
    seem dangerous to you?

Conversion of St. Paul
  • The hard surfaces are beautifully rendered. The
    horseshoe, the rivets in the armor, even the
    veins on the servants leg all appear solid and
  • The foreshortening of St. Paul pulls the eye into
    the center of the picture.
  • The beautiful color--reds, beiges and
    oranges--show a quieter range than his early
  • Where is the horses head?

Portrait of a Knight of Malta
  • Caravaggio eliminates color from this portrait,
    relying solely on the beautiful light which
    highlights his uniform.
  • Caravaggio was in Malta because he had to leave
    Rome after murdering a man following a fight on
    the tennis court.
  • Do the dark tones make the picture more serious?
    Why or why not?
  • Is emphasis on the Maltese cross or on the man?

Portrait of a Knight of Malta
  • Caravaggio had a flamboyant personal life,
    littered with brawls and disputes.
  • He died at 37 on his way back from Rome to be
    pardoned for the murder.
  • His work was not always liked in his time--the
    realism and the lower class models offended some
  • How does this picture make you feel? Happy?

  • His work combined delicate light with gritty
    realism in a way that had never been done
    before. The twisting forms, strong light
    sources, and interaction with the viewer all help
    to make his work dynamic in a way that was new in
    Western art.
  • His times influenced his work. He lived at a
    time when the Catholic church was reacting to the
    Protestant uprisings occurring throughout Europe.
    Interest in science had exploded, as had
    interest in self determination in religious and
    political thought.
  • The Baroque reflect the turmoil occurring in
    society. The stability of the Renaissance had
    given way to a more personal questioning of
    lifes duty and responsibilities.

The Supper at Emmeus
The Supper at Emmeus
  • Caravaggio is considered the greatest Baroque
    artist to ever live. Legions of later artists
    were influenced by his handling of subjects,
    paint and light. The Baroque movement emphasized
    movement, gestures, and drama in their work. The
    works tend to draw the viewer into the plane of
    the picture. Here, notice how the hand gestures
    point into the space of the viewer. The
    interplay of shadow and light, stillness and
    movement, and the secular setting for a religious
    topics are typical of the Baroque.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Do you think the people here are arguing?
    Telling a story? Can you tell what they are
    eating? Who is the standing man? A servant?