Rubens, Caravaggio, And Bernini Baroque Artists Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Art  (general) Type: Essay Paper: #67430139
Excerpt from Essay :

Artworks



Caravaggio: Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi -- "The Calling of St. Matthew"

Caravaggio has painted a Baroque masterpiece that depicts the reality of being a tax collector at the moment when Matthew is called by Christ to be a disciple. He looks up from the table where the "seedy" business of money collection is taking place and has an almost "incredulous" look in his eyes -- as if to say, "You want me?" Few people notice the presence of Our Lord -- the scene is dark -- but split down the middle, with Christ's emergence drawing the line between the light and the dark. A shaft of light falls on St. Matthew.

The video is very informative and gives a good take on the situation, providing context for the painting both as Caravaggio painted it and as it hangs in the chapel. The presenters discuss the significance of the moment in the painting: the characters at the tax table are wealthy, worldly -- their clothing is rich and fine -- and the startling contrast comes in the form of Christ who is spiritual, humble: this seemingly unreal spiritual moment is actually happening to a man whose soul has never really been part of anything spiritual before. So the scene conveys a certain shock value and the presenters do well in pointing this out in the video as being a characteristic of Baroque art -- a sense of that dramatic moment when the spiritual calling occurs -- "the merging...
...

The story being told here is the death of the Virgin Mary, mother of God -- yet Caravaggio does so in a way that "rejects the elegance of the High Renaissance" and places the story firmly in "our world," emphasizing the lowly aspects of the Apostles (their bald heads, their poverty) and painting the Virgin in a way that she resembled (at least to the monks at the time) a drowned prostitute pulled from the river.

The video does a very good job of pointing out how Caravaggio's composition…

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