Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Supper at Emmaus:a study of Caravaggio

Before I began participating in these online challenges, I posted this small study, done last December. I don't think anyone has looked at it much. I now am submitting it for Following the Master's new challenge since I do no think I may get to do another repro of a master soon..

The source:
The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio(Michaelangelo Merisi)c1600-01 54 3/4x 76 3/4" oil/c
This other Michaelangelo, the quintessential bad boy artist, Caravaggio was only 30 years old when he executed this work which was somewhat of an proud display of his technical and intelectual prowess. The foreshortening and dramatic chiaroscuro he is noted for, presented the challenges for me to study through this copy. The painting also holds personal meanings for me.

In the Roman Catholic faith, congregants celebrate this moment at Mass, which is central to the belief, when the Eucharist(lord's supper) is presented to them(communion) after being consecrated by the priest. It is believed that Christ is present in the form of bread and wine consumed(Transubstantiation).

Supper At Emmaus by Caravaggio depicts the moment when the resurrected Jesus revealed Himself to the apostles at a common meal. The staging of this event is among ordinary people. The apostle's moment of awareness and surprise is the narrative. The image is laden with symbolism,too. There is a nod to the Last Judgement by Michaelangelo Buonarotti in the hand of Christ. Some think that an allusion to the crucifixtion is in the outstretched arms of the apostle Peter. The light emanating from Christ himself is another visual metaphor.
This hallmark of Catholicism has been the subject matter not only of Caravaggio, but Titian, Veronese, and Velasquez, among others. A comparative analysis of the different styles of each of these masters' interpretation of the event is always enlightening.

For more about about this painting..
Other sources for different depictions of this story: Titian
Books and novels about Caravaggio: The Lost Painting by JHarr
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