Sunday, April 4, 2010

supper at emmaus

happy easter!

speaking of which, that reminds me of my 12th grade humanities project/paper:

supper at emmaus (caravaggio), 1601- national gallery, london

funny, because caravaggio is actually the name of a small town in italy - the artist was born michelangelo merisi da caravaggio in 1571 (?) - as in michelangelo, from the merisi family of caravaggio.  he only became known as caravaggio when he moved to milan to paint.

anyway, many of his paintings are quite dark but caravaggio's work is genius!

this one, especially, not only because his use of foreshortening, chiaroscuro, and, well detailing in general (as well as the colour scheme, and symbolism in the fruits...) but because of his main subject - jesus.  anything weird about that? well, there's no beard, for one.  because when the bible said that the 2 disciples did not recognise jesus, there is not much of an explanation as to why.  caravaggio has created quite a revolutionary one - he came to them in a different form - here, as a younger, beardless person.

and as the bread is broken, the disciples recognise him - the one on the left (st james, the same one who is honored at compostella?), with his arms spread out in the shape of a cross, and the one in the foreground (cleopas), his tattered elbow sticking out of the page as he prepares to get out of his seat in surprise.  the guy on the left, next to jesus is the innkeeper - still wearing his cap, because he is ignorant and not part of this special revelation.

so, there it is.  i could go on and on about how much i love caravaggio, and his mastery of details and his use of light and his clever and almost mischievously heretical (for the times in which he worked) themes and his compositions in general, but i really need to do some school-related work.  namely, write a paper for my roman history class.  ugh.

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