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Caravaggio (1571-1610)
Caravaggio is also known as Michelangelo Merisi and as the second Michelangelo. Caravaggio painted mostly devotional art, he focused on figures and events from the New Testament and took seriously the mundane yet monumental quality of Christianity. He used Roman street people as the model for the Apostles and Mary. He used larger than life proportions, highly theatrical lighting and crowded his significant figures into shallow spaces.
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Supper at Emmaus
David with the Head of Goliath
Madonna of the Rosary
Death of the Virgin
Musicians
Sacrifice of Isaac

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Madonna of the Rosary 1606/07
Canvas H 364 cm, W 249 cm
   
Caravaggio was a revolutionary in his turbulent and violent life as well as in his art. In intentional opposition to bygone epochs, he used the overwhelming presence of the personae in his paintings to achieve the requisite (during the Counter-Reformation) intense effect on the viewer. His particular artistic devices were vehement chiaroscuro contrasts, providing figures and objects with a sharp physical presence never seen before and a rendering of the observed that approached veracity. This realism, as trivial as it may have seemed to Caravaggios critics, is actually derived from the spiritualism of a subtle understanding of art. The enthroned Madonna advises St. Dominic to distribute rosaries among the people, who are crowded about the saint. Taking part in this supernatural-natural event are not just those found within the picture itself. The observer is drawn into the action as well, through the directional gesture of St. Peter Martyr on the right and through the invitation of the donor on the left, to take cover under the protective mantel of St. Dominic. While the (painted) worshippers see only the saint, the faithful viewer standing in front of this painting experiences within earthly reality the tangible results of supernatural grace. He is drawn towards Christ the Redeemer standing exactly in the pictures central axis and the interceding Mary and Dominic. Exact details of the provenance of the painting, the donor and its first intended location are still unknown. The picture was probably executed in Naples, only to be given to the Dominican Church in Antwerp by a group of artists, including Rubens and Jan Bruegel, around 1620. It was acquired by Emperor Joseph II in 1781.
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lulu2nvMar 22, 2010 14:41wierd but thanks

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