Boy Peeling Fruit (Caravaggio)
Boy Peeling Fruit is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio painted circa 1592–1593. This is the earliest known work by Caravaggio, painted soon after his arrival in Rome from his native Milan in mid 1592, his movements in this period are not certain. According to his contemporary Giulio Mancini he stayed for a short time with Monsignor Pandulfo Pucci in the Palazzo Colonna, but disliked the way Pucci treated him and left after a few months.. He copied religious pictures for Pucci, did a few pieces of his own for personal sale, of which Boy Peeling a Fruit would be the only known example; the piece may date from later, when he was working for Giuseppe Cesari, the "cavaliere d'Arpino". As Caravaggio is said to have been painting only "flowers and fruit" for d'Arpino, this would again be a personal piece done for sale outside the workshop, but it was among the works seized from d'Alpino by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1607, together with two other early Caravaggios, the Young Sick Bacchus and the Boy with a Basket of Fruit.
It is not known. The fruit being peeled by the boy is something of a mystery. Sources indicate it may be a pear, correct but has been questioned. Seen as a simple genre painting, it differs from most in that the boy is not'rusticated,' that is, he is depicted as clean and well-dressed instead of as a'cute' ragamuffin. An allegoric meaning behind the painting is plausible, given the complex Renaissance symbology of fruit. Caravaggio scholar John T. Spike has suggested that the boy demonstrates resistance to temptation by ignoring the sweeter fruits in favour of the bergamot, but no specific reading is accepted; the model is thought to bear a resemblance to the angel in Caravaggio's Ecstasy of Saint Francis and to the boy dressed as Cupid on the far left in his Young Musicians, both about 1595 to 1597. Several other versions of the work are known. In 1996 John T. Spike identified the original as a painting auctioned in London that year, although others have argued that either the Ishizuka version or that in the British Royal Collection could be the prototype.
The version in the Royal Collection has been on display in the Cumberland Gallery of Hampton Court Palace since 2004. Caravaggio's fruit Caravaggio's secular paintings Peter Robb, M ISBN 0-312-27474-2ISBN 0-7475-4858-7
David with the Head of Goliath (Caravaggio, Vienna)
David with the Head of Goliath, c. 1607, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Gemäldegalerie, Vienna, is a painting by the Italian artist Caravaggio. Peter Robb believes it to have been acquired by the conde de Villamediana in Naples between 1611 and 1617, as Giovanni Bellori records Villamediana as having returned to Spain with a half-figure of David by Caravaggio. Caravaggio treated this subject in a work in the Galleria Borghese, in an early work dated c. 1600 in the Prado in Madrid. The exact moment depicted appears to be that referred to in I Samuel 17:57: "When David came back after killing the Philistine, Abner took him and presented him to Saul with the Philistine's head still in his hand." The pose is a usual one for the episode, showing David striding in triumph with the head in his hand. In the Borghese version this has changed to an unconventional frontal presentation of the head toward the viewer, thereby placed in the position of Saul; the painting can be compared with the David with the Head of Goliath in the Galleria Borghese, which dates from either 1607 or 1609–10.
The two are similar—Caravaggio explored a subject in multiple variations, most notably his many versions of John the Baptist—but the Vienna painting is less dark in mood, the David more triumphant than the introspective and oddly compassionate David of the Borghese, the head of Goliath accepted as a self-portrait in the Borghese work, is more generic. The model for David in both versions appears to be a more mature version of the pubescent Cupid of Amor Vincit Omnia and the Capitoline and Pamphilij John the Baptist, all painted around 1602; the model for these works has been identified by some, most notably Peter Robb, as Cecco, a boy known to have been Caravaggio's servant in Rome in the early 17th century and believed by Robb to be identical with Cecco del Caravaggio, an artist active in Rome in the period 1610–1625 and painting much in Caravaggio's manner. There is no record of Cecco having been with Caravaggio after the artist's flight from Rome in 1606. Gash, John. Caravaggio. ISBN 1-904449-22-0.
Langdon, Helen. Caravaggio: A Life. ISBN 0-374-11894-9. Robb, Peter. M. ISBN 978-0-312-27474-0
Martha and Mary Magdalene (Caravaggio)
Martha and Mary Magdalene is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Alternate titles include Martha Reproving Mary, The Conversion of the Magdalene, the Alzaga Caravaggio. Caravaggio's Martha and Mary is dated to 1598–99, when he was in the entourage of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. Little is known of its history between those years and 25 June 1971, when its owners attempted to sell it at Christie's in London, it remained unsold at 130,000 guineas, despite the confidence of the restorer Juan Corradini of Buenos Aires. Converts were Benedict Nicolson and Mina Gregori. Today it is considered an autograph work, it was acquired by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1973. It is thought that the painting was in the collection of Caravaggio's patron Ottavio Costa, his will of 6 August 1606, contains a painting by this description and states that Riggerio Tritonio, secretary of Cardinal Montalto, is to choose between the Martha and Mary and a Saint Francis.
Since the Saint Francis appears in the inventory of Tritinio, it has been assumed that the Martha and Mary passed to Herrera in late 1606. Giovanni Enriquez de Herrera died on 1 March 1610, without a will, thus leaving his four sons to decide on the fate of his possessions, it has been speculated that it remained in Rome until the 1620s, but the only firm evidence for its provenance after the Herrera family is a seal and inscriptions on the back of the original canvas with the names Niccolò Panzani, Emilia Panzani and Anna E. Panzani; this family has not been traced. Since its rediscovery, its influence has become apparent, most notably in the number of copies, a now lost work by Carlo Saraceni and a well known version by Orazio Gentileschi, today in Munich; the painting shows the sisters Mary from the New Testament. Martha is in the act of converting Mary from her life of pleasure to the life of virtue in Christ. Martha, her face shadowed, leans forward, passionately arguing with Mary, who twirls an orange blossom between her fingers as she holds a mirror, symbolising the vanity she is about to give up.
The power of the image lies in Mary's face, caught at the moment. Martha and Mary was painted while Caravaggio was living in the palazzo of his patron, Cardinal Del Monte, his paintings for Del Monte fall into two groups: the secular genre pieces such as The Musicians, The Lute Player, Bacchus - all featuring boys and youths in somewhat claustophobic interior scenes - and religious images such as Rest on the Flight into Egypt and Ecstasy of Saint Francis. Among the religious paintings was a group of four works featuring the same two female models, together or singly; the models were two well-known courtesans who frequented the palazzi of Del Monte and other wealthy and powerful art patrons, their names were Anna Bianchini and Fillide Melandroni. Anna Bianchini appeared first as a solitary Mary Magdalene in the Penitent Magdalene of about 1597. Fillide Melandroni appeared in a secular Portrait of a Courtesan done the same year for Del Monte's friend and fellow art-lover, the banker Vincenzo Giustiniani.
In 1598 Caravaggio painted Fillide again as Saint Catherine, capturing a beauty full of intelligence and spirit. In Martha and Mary the two are shown together, Fillide fitted to the role of Mary, Anna to the mousier but insistent presence as Martha. A finely grained cream-brown table running in front of the sisters displays three objects, of which a Venetian mirror is the most obvious, it reflects the Magdalen's hand and a rectangular window, to which reflection her middle finger points. The other two objects are a dish with a sponge; the type of dish was called a sponzarol by the Venetians and, in this case, is made of alabaster. Mary wears red, the colour of the Magdalen, a dress similar to one Caravaggio employs in his Portrait of a Courtesan and Saint Catherine, with embroidery on the blouse, similar to what we see in his Penitent Magdalen; the writings of the Church Fathers established Martha and Mary as representative of the active versus the contemplative aspects of Christian faith. This distinction was exemplified in art like Bernardino Luini's Martha and Mary, once in the Barberini Collection in Rome, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
Caravaggio would have known the painting. The painting was investigated by the scientists at the Detroit Institute of Arts; the pigment analysis revealed the usual pigments of the Baroque period such as lead white and yellow ochre and azurite
Museo del Prado
The Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It is considered to have one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, the single best collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it contains important collections of other types of works. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, it is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world; the numerous works by Francisco Goya, the single most extensively represented artist, as well as by Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens and Diego Velázquez, are some of the highlights of the collection. The collection comprises around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, 1,000 sculptures, in addition to a large number of other works of art and historic documents; as of 2012, the museum displayed about 1,300 works in the main buildings, while around 3,100 works were on temporary loan to various museums and official institutions.
The remainder were in storage. The museum received 2.8 million visitors in 2012. It is one of the largest museums in Spain; the best-known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez and his keen eye and sensibility were responsible for bringing much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters to Spain, now the largest outside Italy; the museum is planning a 16% extension in the nearby Salón de Reinos, to be opened in 2019. The building, now the home of the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed in 1785 by architect of the Enlightenment in Spain Juan de Villanueva on the orders of Charles III to house the Natural History Cabinet. Nonetheless, the building's final function was not decided until the monarch's grandson, Ferdinand VII, encouraged by his wife, Queen María Isabel de Braganza, decided to use it as a new Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures; the Royal Museum, which would soon become known as the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, subsequently the Museo Nacional del Prado, opened to the public for the first time in November 1819.
It was created with the double aim of showing the works of art belonging to the Spanish Crown and to demonstrate to the rest of Europe that Spanish art was of equal merit to any other national school. The first catalogue of the Museum, published in 1819 and devoted to Spanish painting, included 311 paintings, although at that time the Museum housed 1,510 from the various royal residences, the Reales Sitios, including works from other schools; the exceptionally important royal collection, which forms the nucleus of the present-day Museo del Prado, started to increase in the 16th century during the time of Charles V and continued under the succeeding Habsburg and Bourbon monarchs. Their efforts and determination led to the Royal Collection being enriched by some of the masterpieces now to be seen in the Prado; these include The Descent from the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch, Knight with his Hand on his Breast by El Greco, The Death of the Virgin by Mantegna, The Holy Family, known as "La Perla", by Raphael, Charles V at Mülhberg by Titian, Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet by Tintoretto, Dürer's Self-portrait, Las Meninas by Velázquez, The Three Graces by Rubens, The Family of Charles IV by Goya.
In addition to works from the Spanish royal collection, other holdings increased and enriched the Museum with further masterpieces, such as the two Majas by Goya. Among the now closed museums whose collections have been added to that of the Prado were the Museo de la Trinidad in 1872, the Museo de Arte Moderno in 1971. In addition, numerous legacies and purchases have been of crucial importance for the growth of the collection. Various works entered the Prado from the Museo de la Trinidad, including The Fountain of Grace by the School of Van Eyck, the Santo Domingo and San Pedro Martír altarpieces painted for the monastery of Santo Tomás in Ávila by Pedro Berruguete, the five canvases by El Greco executed for the Colegio de doña María de Aragón. Most of the Museum's 19th-century paintings come from the former Museo de Arte Moderno, including works by the Madrazos, José de Madrazo y Agudo and Federico de Madrazo, Vicente López, Carlos de Haes, Eduardo Rosales and Sorolla. Upon the deposition of Isabella II in 1868, the museum was nationalized and acquired the new name of "Museo del Prado".
The building housed the royal collection of arts, it proved too small. The first enlargement to the museum took place in 1918. Since the creation of the Museo del Prado more than 2,300 paintings have been incorporated into its collection, as well as a large number of sculptures, prints and works of art through bequests and purchases, which account for most of the New Acquisitions. Numerous bequests have enriched the Museum's holdings, such as the outstanding collection of medals left to the Museum by Pablo Bosch. Important donations include Barón Emile d'Erlanger's gift of Goya's Black Paintings in 1881. Among the numerous works that have entered the collection through purchase are some outstanding ones acquired in recent years including two works by El Greco, The Fable and The Flight into Egypt acquired in 1993 and 2001, Goya's Countess of Chinchón bought in 2000, Velázquez's portrait of The Pope's Barber, acquired in 2003 and Fra Angelico's Madonna of the Pomegranate purchased in 2016. Between 1873
Giorgione was an Italian painter of the Venetian school during the High Renaissance from Venice, who died in his thirties. Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are attributed to him; the uncertainty surrounding the identity and meaning of his work has made Giorgione one of the most mysterious figures in European art. Together with Titian, slightly younger, he founded the distinctive Venetian school of Italian Renaissance painting, which achieves much of its effect through colour and mood, is traditionally contrasted with Florentine painting, which relies on a more linear disegno-led style. What little is known of Giorgione's life is given in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects; the painter came from the small town of Castelfranco Veneto, 40 km inland from Venice. His name sometimes appears as Zorzo; the variant Giorgione may be translated "Big George". It is unclear how early in boyhood he went to Venice, but stylistic evidence supports the statement of Carlo Ridolfi that he served his apprenticeship there under Giovanni Bellini.
Contemporary documents record. In 1500, when he was only twenty-three, he was chosen to paint portraits of the Doge Agostino Barbarigo and the condottiere Consalvo Ferrante. In 1504, he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece in memory of another condottiere, Matteo Costanzo, in the cathedral of his native town, Castelfranco. In 1507, he received, at the order of the Council of Ten, partial payment for a picture in which he was engaged for the Hall of the Audience in the Doge's Palace. From 1507 to 1508 he was employed, with other artists of his generation, to decorate with frescoes the exterior of the newly rebuilt Fondaco dei Tedeschi at Venice, having done similar work on the exterior of the Casa Soranzo, the Casa Grimani alli Servi and other Venetian palaces. Little of this work now survives. Vasari mentions an important event in Giorgione's life, one which influenced his work, his meeting with Leonardo da Vinci on the occasion of the Tuscan master's visit to Venice in 1500. All accounts agree in representing Giorgione as a person of distinguished and romantic charm, a great lover and a musician, given to express in his art the sensuous and imaginative grace, touched with poetic melancholy, of the Venetian existence of his time.
They represent him further as having made in Venetian painting an advance analogous to that made in Tuscan painting by Leonardo more than twenty years before. He was closely associated with Titian, they worked together on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi frescoes, Titian finished at least some paintings of Giorgione after his death, although which ones remains controversial. Giorgione introduced a new range of subjects. Besides altarpieces and portraits he painted pictures that told no story, whether biblical or classical, or if they professed to tell a story, neglected the action and embodied in form and color moods of lyrical or romantic feeling, much as a musician might embody them in sounds. Innovating with the courage and felicity of genius, he had for a time an overwhelming influence on his contemporaries and immediate successors in the Venetian school, including Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Palma il Vecchio, il Cariani, Giulio Campagnola, on his eminent master, Giovanni Bellini. In the Venetian mainland, Giorgionismo influenced Morto da Feltre, Domenico Capriolo, Domenico Mancini.
Giorgione died of the plague raging, on the 17th of September, 1510. He was thought to have died and been buried on the island of Poveglia in the Venetian lagoon, but an archival document published for the first time in 2011 places his death on the island of Lazzareto Nuovo. October 1510 is the date of a letter by Isabella d'Este to a Venetian friend; the reply a month said the painting was not to be had at any price. His name and work continue to exercise a spell on posterity, but to identify and define, among the relics of his age and school what that work is, to distinguish it from the similar work of other men whom his influence inspired, is a difficult matter. Though there are no longer any supporters of the "Pan Giorgionismus" which a century ago claimed for Giorgione nearly every painting of the time that at all resembles his manner, there are still, as exclusive critics who reduce to half a dozen the list of extant pictures which they will admit to be by this painter. For his home town of Castelfranco, Giorgione painted the Castelfranco Madonna, an altarpiece in sacra conversazione form—Madonna enthroned, with saints on either side forming an equilateral triangle.
This gave the landscape background an importance which marks an innovation in Venetian art, was followed by his master Giovanni Bellini and others. Giorgione began to use the refined chiaroscuro called sfumato—the delicate use of shades of color to depict light and perspective—around the same time as Leonardo. Whether Vasari is correct in sayi
The Lute Player (Caravaggio)
The Lute Player is a composition by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It exists in two versions, one in the Wildenstein Collection and another in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. A third from Badminton House, came to light in 2007 - however, some question its authenticity. Caravaggio's early biographer Giovanni Baglione gives the following description of a piece done by the artist for his patron Cardinal Francesco Del Monte: E dipinse … anche un giovane, che sonava il Lauto, che vivo, e vero il tutto parea con una caraffa di fiori piena d’acqua, che dentro il reflesso d’ua fenestra eccelentemente si scorgeva con altri ripercotimenti di quella camera dentro l’acqua, e sopra quei fiori eravi una viva rugiada con ogni esquisita diligenza finta. E questo che che facesse mai." " The painting exists in three versions. All show a boy with soft facial features and thick brown hair, accompanying himself on the lute as he sings a madrigal about love; as in the Uffizi Bacchus, the artist places a table-top in front of the figure.
In the Hermitage and Badminton House versions it is bare marble, with a violin on one side and a still life of flowers and fruit on the other. In the Wildenstein version the table is covered with a carpet and extended forwards to hold a tenor recorder, while the still life is replaced by a spinetta and a caged songbird; the musical instruments are valuable and came from Del Monte's personal collection. The Hermitage and Badminton House versions show madrigals by Jacques Arcadelt, the visible text reads in part: "Vous savez que je vous aime et vous adore... Je fus vôtre.". The Wildenstein version shows songs by a native Florentine on a text by Petrarch: Laisse le voile and Pourquoi ne vous donnez-vous pas? by Giachetto Berchem. The flowers and damaged fruit, the cracked body of the lute, suggest the theme of transience: love, like all things, is fleeting and mortal; the choice of Franco-Flemish composers over native Italians – only Layolle was a native Italian – no doubt reflects the cultural affiliations of the pro-French Del Monte-Giustiniani circle.
The still life elements are of an high standard in all versions, the finely rendered fruit and flowers in two versions equalled by the textures of spinetta and flute in the other, the artist has reproduced the initial notes of the madrigals so that one can recognize the Roman printer, Valerio Dorica. The rather androgynous model could be Pedro Montoya, a castrato known to have been a member of the Del Monte household and a singer at the Sistine Chapel at about this time - castrati were prized and the Cardinal was a patron of music as well as of painting. More Caravaggio biographer Peter Robb has identified him as Caravaggio's companion Mario Minniti, the model for several other paintings from this period including The Cardsharps and one of the two versions of The Fortune Teller. All three versions demonstrate the innovative approach to light that Caravaggio adopted at this time. Caravaggio's method, as described by Caravaggio's contemporary Giulio Mancini, was to use "a strong light from above with a single window and the walls painted black, so that having the lights bright and the shadows dark, it gives depth to the painting, but with a method, not natural nor done or thought of by any other century or older painters like Raphael, Titian and others."
The room itself seems to be the same as that in the Contarelli Chapel Calling of Saint Matthew, the beam of light across the rear wall has an upper limit that would appear to be the shutter of the window above the table in the Calling. The carafe is a "cut-and-paste" motif from another image, where the main light came from a window at more or less the same level as the carafe itself; such a complex illustration of refracted light is unprecedented in the Cinquecento, may have been the result of collaboration with scientists in Del Monte's circle, including Giovanni Battista della Porta, the guiding spirit behind the foundation in 1603 of the Accademia dei Lincei. His multi-volume De Refractione Optices was concerned with optical matters, the second volume being devoted to the incidence of light on water-filled and glass spheres; the circle of Della Porta was significant for Caravaggio on in Naples, where the commission for the Seven Acts of Mercy seems to have emanated from Giovanni Batista Manso, Marchese di Villa, whose friend, the alchemist Colantonio Stigliola, was a member of the Accademia dei Lincei.
The appearance of second originals is a feature of a new understanding of Caravaggio's work, indeed Vincenzo Giustiniani, whose experience was related to the artist's career, describes in his Discorso sulla pittura the painter's development as beginning with copying others’ work - ‘Proceeding further, he can copy his own work, so that the replica may be as good, sometimes better, than the first’. The procedure for making a second version was, however different from the sometimes arduous task of building a group from many separate observations of reality, of figures and objects.
John the Baptist (Caravaggio)
John the Baptist was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The story of John the Baptist is told in the Gospels. John was the cousin of Jesus, his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, he lived in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, "his raiment of camel's hair, a leather girdle about his loins. He baptised Jesus in the Jordan, was killed by Herod Antipas when he called upon the king to reform his evil ways. John was shown in Christian art, identifiable by his bowl, reed cross, camel's skin and lamb; the most popular scene prior to the Counter-Reformation was of John's baptism of Jesus, or else the infant Baptist together with the infant Jesus and Mary his mother supplemented by the Baptist's own mother St Elizabeth. John alone in the desert was not unknown. For the young Caravaggio, John was invariably a youth alone in the wilderness; this image was based on the statement in the Gospel of Luke that "the child grew and was strengthened in spirit, was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel."
These works allowed a religious treatment of the clothed youths he liked to paint at this period. Apart from these works showing John alone dated to his early years, Caravaggio painted three great narrative scenes of John's death: the great Execution in Malta, two sombre Salomes with his head, one in Madrid, one in London; the ascription of this painting to Caravaggio is disputed - the alternative candidate is Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, an early follower. It is in the collection of the Museo Tesoro Catedralicio and John Gash speculates that it may have been one of the paintings done by Caravaggio for the prior of the Hospital of the Consolation, as Caravaggio's early biographer Mancini tells us. According to Mancini the prior "afterwards took them with him to his homeland". There was a Spanish prior of the hospital in 1593, he may not have left until June 1595. Gash cites scholar A. E. Perez Sanchez's view that while the figure of the saint has certain affinities with Cavarozzi's style, the rest of the picture does not, "and the high quality of certain passages the beautifully depicted vine leaves...is much more characteristic of Caravaggio."
Gash points to the gentle chiaroscuro and the delicate treatment of contours and features, similar stylistic features in early works by Caravaggio such as The Musicians and Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy. If this and other paintings by Caravaggio were indeed in Seville at an early date they may have influenced Velázquez in his early works. However, the arguments in favour of Cavarozzi are strong, he is known to have travelled to Spain about 1617-1619. Peter Robb, taking the painting to be by Caravaggio, dates it to about 1598, when the artist was a member of the household of his first patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. Robb points out that the Baptist is evidently the same boy who modelled for Isaac in the Sacrifice of Isaac, which would date both paintings to around the same period; this Sacrifice of Isaac is disputed, so the problem of authorship is not solved. John is shown against a background of green grape vines and thorny vine stems, seated on a red cloak, holding a thin reed cross and looking down at a sheep lying at his feet.
The red cloak would become one with many precedents in previous art. John the Baptist carries over many of the concerns which animated Caravaggio's other work from this period; the leaves behind the figure, the plants and soil around his feet, are depicted with that careful photographic sense of detail, seen in the contemporary still life Basket of Fruit, while the melancholy self-absorption of the Baptist creates an atmosphere of introspection. The grape leaves stand for the grapes from which the wine of the Last Supper was pressed, while the thorns call to mind the Crown of Thorns, the sheep is a reminder of the Sacrifice of Christ. Caravaggio's decision to paint John the Baptist as a youth was somewhat unusual for the age: the saint was traditionally shown as either an infant, together with the infant Jesus and his own and Jesus's mother, or as an adult in the act of baptising Jesus, it was not without precedent. Leonardo had painted a youthful and enigmatically smiling Baptist with one finger pointing upwards and the other hand seeming to indicate his own breast, while Andrea del Sarto left a Baptist which totally prefigures Caravaggio.
Both Leonardo and del Sarto had created from the figure of John something which seems to hint at an personal meaning, one not accessible to the viewer, Caravaggio was to turn this into something like a personal icon in the course of his many variations on the theme. The model for Amor Vincit was a boy named Cecco, Caravaggio's servant and his pupil as well, he has been tentatively identified with an artist active in Rome about 1610-1625, otherwise known only as Cecco del Caravaggio – Caravaggio's Cecco – who painted much in Caravaggio's style. The most striking feature of Amor was the young model's evident glee in posing for the painting, so that it became rather more a portrait of Cecco than a depiction of a Roman demi-god; the same sense of the real-life model overwhelming the supposed subject was transferred to Mattei's John the Baptist. The youthful John is shown half-reclining, one arm around a ram's neck, his turne