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Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

16/09/2019, 14:28

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #pittura, #painting, #caravaggio



CARAVAGGIO-AND-HIS-"MARTYRDOM-OF-ST-MATTHEW":-AN-UNSOLVED-CASE-


 Several Caravaggio’s masterpieces are studied still today by the scholars and art historians, because sometimes is not clear who could be the real subject, the hidden message, or the assassin...



One of the masterpieces by Caravaggio host in the Contarelli Chapel at the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi there is his "Martyrdom of St Matthew". Keep in mind how for the first time, to complete this commission, a young Caravaggio faced new challenges: it was a public commission, and so the works of art will be displayed inside a chapel, with several observers who could admire the masterpiece not excatly from the ordinary point of view, as Caravaggio used to do (still today, to have an idea, the work of art is displayed along a side wall of the chapel. Moreover it was a public commission agains, and so everybody had the possibility to get in touch with the painting. Imagine how Caravaggio was probably excited! In this "Martyrdom of St Matthew" Caravaggio show us what we can find on the Holy Scriptures. The saint is lay out at the foreground, just in front of stairs and above a sort of platform that could be as a stage. In this way our look could be lead to the martyr and the young and partly naked boy above him. This man holding a sword is one of the main characters of the painting, and Caravaggio was probably inspired by other masters and masterpieces to paint him. His body, hi muscles and pose could remember us the Adam by Michelangelo, sets at the vault of the Sistine Chapel. It is a clear demonstration of how Caravaggio, like the other painters of his time, was inspired by other masters. We can understand that we are looking a martyrdom thanks to the angel on a cloud holding the palm, clear symbol of martyrdom. The whole scene is surrounded by the typical darkness by Caravaggio, something that is broken by this incredible light that comes from nowhere. We could not see the origins of this light, but we can clearly understand in this way some details, gestures, looks, faces and emotions of the characters and places that are hit by the light. This element represents God, the Lord who touches the people which should receive his Mercy. In this case more than St Matthew the muscular man above him is hit by this light. But this masterpieces is full of unknown things and curiosities, so much that still today the art historians are wondering something about it. First of all the main doubt is related to the killer: it is really true that the man with the sword at the foreground, that man partly naked, is the assassin? Could the killer be another character? The questions are instinctives if you observe better the painting. The whole scene is also full of emotions, the bad feelings that everybody feels looking at the  murder. Try to see the scared face of the young boy on the right. He is gathered by a strong terror, that is pushing him to escape! Try to see also the man on the left, with his open arms, another pose full of fright. But now take a look to the face of the boy in the middle: he is taking the Matthew’s arm. Now try to use another point of view: St Matthew was barely hit and a young man, with his weapon, is going next to him in order to defend the saint, helping him to get up. Now try to see the expression of this young boy: he looks scared, in a confusional state. How could a killer be scared about his deed? Always following this thought, only two characters are not terrified: the man at the background on the left, with the black beard and goatee, just behind the nape of another boy who is escaping. This man with the beard is Caravaggio, his self portrait! Nothing strange, other artists did the same. But there is also another man, always on the left, that one with a strange hat having white and yellow feathers. He’s looking at St Matthew and in some degree he is going out from the canvas. Moreover his emotions are not close to fright and scare. He looks almost quite, so much for the event that he is living. And if...  #Caravaggio #Michelangelo #unaguidaturisticaroma #romeisus #Rome #Roma #atourguiderome #arte #art #pittura #painting


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