Bacchus is a painting by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is held in the Uffizi Florence; the painting shows a youthful Bacchus reclining in classical fashion with grapes and vine leaves in his hair, fingering the drawstring of his loosely draped robe. On a stone table in front of him is a large carafe of red wine. Bacchus was painted shortly after Caravaggio joined the household of his first important patron, Cardinal Del Monte, reflects the humanist interests of the Cardinal's educated circle, it was not in the cardinal's collection at his death, may have been a gift to the Grand Duke in Florence. It was unknown until 1913; when it was found in a storeroom of the Uffizi Galleries, it had never been framed. Bacchus' offering of the wine with his left hand, despite the obvious effort this is causing the model, has led to speculation that Caravaggio used a mirror to assist himself while working from life, doing away with the need for drawing. In other words, what appears to us as the boy's left hand was his right.
This would accord with the comment by Caravaggio's early biographer, the artist Giovanni Baglione, that Caravaggio did some early paintings using a mirror. English artist David Hockney made Caravaggio's working methods a central feature of his thesis that Renaissance and artists used some form of camera lucida; the model for Bacchus might have been Caravaggio's friend Mario Minniti, whom he had used before in The Musicians. It was discovered upon closer investigation that Caravaggio included a miniature self-portrait of himself painting the subject in the reflection of the offered glass. Bacchus Analysis and Critical Reception Discussion of Hockney's Secret Knowledge and Caravaggio Iconographic Themes in Art: Bacchus | Dionysos High resolution preview
Caravaggio painted two versions of Medusa, the first in 1596 and the other in 1597. The first version is known as Murtula, after poet Gaspare Murtola, who wrote of it: "Flee, for if your eyes are petrified in amazement, she will turn you to stone." It measures 48 by 55 cm and is signed Michel A F, "Michel Angelo made ", Michelangelo being Caravaggio's first name. This work is owned; the second version, shown here, is bigger and is not signed though dated 1597. This work is held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Caterina Caneva, La Medusa del Caravaggio restaurata, Roma, 2002 Medusa at Web Gallery of Art
David and Goliath (Caravaggio)
David and Goliath is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It was painted in about 1599, is held in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Two versions of the same theme are to be seen in Kunsthistorisches Museum, in Rome's Galleria Borghese; the David and Goliath in the Prado was painted in the early part of the artist's career, while he was a member of the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. It shows the Biblical David as a young boy fastening the head of the champion of the Philistines, the giant Goliath, by the hair; the light catches on David's leg and flank, on the massive shoulders from which Goliath's head has been severed, on the head itself, but everything else is dark. David's face is invisible in the shadows. A wound on Goliath's forehead shows; the overwhelming impression is of some action intensely personal and private - no triumph, no armies, no victory. Caravaggio showed Goliath's face fixed in wild-eyed open-mouthed terror, tongue rolling, eyeballs swivelled to the edges of the sockets.
In the finished painting the melodrama is banished: the drama is transferred from Goliath to the efficient David, his face hidden, intent on his work with his hands in his enemy's hair, kneeling casually on the man's torso. This painting and two others done at about the same time – the first version of Sacrifice of Isaac and the first John the Baptist – were taken to Spain shortly after they were made, where they were copied and made a deep impression on art in that country. Langdon, Helen. Caravaggio: A Life. ISBN 0-374-11894-9. Robb, Peter. M. ISBN 0-312-27474-2
Amor Vincit Omnia (Caravaggio)
Amor Vincit Omnia is a painting by the Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio. Amor Vincit Omnia shows Amor, the Roman Cupid, wearing dark eagle wings, half-sitting on or climbing down from what appears to be a table. Scattered around are the emblems of all human endeavours – violin and lute, coronet and compasses, pen and manuscript, bay leaves, flower and trampled under Cupid’s foot; the painting illustrates the line from Virgil's Eclogues X.69, Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori. A musical manuscript on the floor shows a large "V", it has therefore been suggested that the picture is a coded reference to the attainments of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani: his Genoese family ruled Chios in 1622, hence the coronet. The symbology thus holds the possible reading: Vincenzo Conquers All. Giustiniani is said to have prized it above all other works in his collection; the subject was common for the age. Caravaggio’s treatment is remarkable for the realism of his Cupid – where other depictions, such as a contemporary Sleeping Cupid by Battistello Caracciolo, show an idealised generic, beautiful boy, Caravaggio’s Cupid is individual, charming but not at all beautiful, all crooked teeth and crooked grin: one feels that one would recognise him in the street.
The shock of the Caravaggio, quite apart from the dramatic chiaroscuro lighting and the photographic clarity, is the mingling of the allegorical and the real, this sense it gives of a child, having a good time dressing up in stage-prop wings with a bunch of arrows and having his picture painted. Despite the clear indications of Caravaggio’s practice of painting direct from a live model, there is an undeniable resemblance to the pose of Michelangelo's Victory now in the Palazzo Vecchio, it is the artist had this in mind; the painter Orazio Gentileschi lent Caravaggio the wings as props to be used in the painting, this allows precise dating of 1602–3. It was an immediate success in the circles of Rome's cultural elite. A poet wrote three madrigals about it, another wrote a Latin epigram in which it was first coupled with the Virgilian phrase Omnia Vincit Amor, although this did not become its title until the critic Giovanni Pietro Bellori wrote his life of Caravaggio in 1672. Much scholarly and non-scholarly ink has been spilled over the alleged eroticism of the painting.
Yet the homoerotic content was not so apparent to Giustiniani’s generation as it has become today. Naked boys could be seen on any riverbank or seashore, the eroticisation of children is much a cultural artefact of the present-day rather than Caravaggio's; the story that the Marchese kept Amor hidden behind a curtain relates to his reported wish that it should be kept as a final pièce de résistance for visitors, to be seen only when the rest of the collection had been viewed – in other words, the curtain was to reveal the painting, not to hide it.. The challenge is to see the Amor Vincit through 17th century eyes. In 1602, shortly after Amor Vincit was completed, Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani, Vincenzo’s brother and collaborator in the creation of the Giustiniani collection of contemporary art, commissioned a painting from the noted artist Giovanni Baglione. Baglione’s Divine and Profane Love showed Divine Love separating a juvenile Cupid on the ground in the lower right corner from a Lucifer in the left corner.
Its style was derivative of Caravaggio and a clear challenge to the recent Amor, the younger painter bitterly protested at what he saw as the plagiarism. Taunted by one of Caravaggio’s friends, Baglione responded with a second version, in which the devil was given Caravaggio’s face, thus began a long and vicious quarrel, to have unforeseeable ramifications for Caravaggio decades after his death when the unforgiving Baglione became his first biographer. Sandrart described Amor as "A life size Cupid after a boy of about twelve... has large brown eagle's wings, drawn so and with such strong colouring and relief that it all comes to life.". Richard Symonds, an English visitor to Rome about 1649/51, recorded the Cupid as being "ye body and face of his owne boy or servant thait laid with him"; the Italian art historian Giani Pappi has put forward the theory that this Cecco may be identical with Cecco del Caravaggio, a notable Italian follower of Caravaggio who emerged in the decade after the master’s death.
While this remains controversial, there is more widespread support for Pappi's further proposal that Cecco del Caravaggio should be identified as an artist known as Francesco Boneri. Cecco Boneri, if this is his name, appears in many of Caravaggio's paintings, as the juvenile angel supporting Christ in The Conversion of Saint Paul as the angel offering a martyr's palm to the saint in The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, as the young Isaac about to have his throat cut in The Sacrifice of Is
Sacrifice of Isaac (Caravaggio)
The Sacrifice of Isaac is the title of two paintings from c. 1598 - 1603 depicting the sacrifice of Isaac. The paintings could be painted by the Italian master Caravaggio but there is strong evidence that they may have been the work of Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, a talented early member of the Caravaggio following, known to have been in Spain about 1617-1619; the Sacrifice of Isaac in the Piasecka-Johnson Collection in Princeton, New Jersey, is a disputed work, painted circa 1603. According to Giulio Mancini, a contemporary of Caravaggio and an early biographer, the artist, while convalescing in the Hospital of the Consolazione, did a number of paintings for the prior who took them home with him to Seville; this would date the work to the mid-1590s, but it seems far more sophisticated than anything else known from that period of Caravaggio's career, Peter Robb, in his 1998 biography of Caravaggio, dates it to about 1598. The model for Isaac bears a close resemblance to the model used for the John the Baptist now in the museum of Toledo cathedral, which suggests that the two should be considered together.
The presence of paintings by Caravaggio in Spain at an early date is important for the influence they may have had on the young Velázquez, but there is strong evidence that they may have been the work of Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, a talented early member of the Caravaggio following, known to have been in Spain about 1617-1619. The painting shows the moment when Abraham, about to sacrifice his son Isaac in obedience to God's command, he is saved by an angel who offers him a ram in Isaac's place; the scene is lit with the enhanced chiaroscuro with which Caravaggio was to revolutionize Western art, falling like a stage spotlight on the face of the youthful angel. The three figures and the ram are shown without background or context, with nothing to distract from the powerful psychological drama as God's promise is delivered; the second Sacrifice of Isaac is housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. According to the early biographer Giovanni Bellori, Caravaggio painted a version of this subject for Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII, a series of payments totalling one hundred scudi were made to the artist by Barberini between May 1603 and January 1604.
Caravaggio had painted a Portrait of Maffeo Barberini, which pleased the cardinal enough for him to commission this second painting. Isaac has been identified as Cecco Boneri, who appeared as Caravaggio's model in several other pictures. Recent X-ray analysis showed that Caravaggio used Cecco for the angel, modified the profile and the hair to hide the resemblance; the symbol of the ram has many facets of meaning. In the Biblical era, the ram's horn was a symbol of power. Referred to as a shofar, the rams horn was used in battle to alert warriors; the ram itself represents Jesus Christ or Yeshua as the lamb of God, or sometimes referred to as "the ultimate sacrifice", foreshadowing Jesus' crucifixion. It is debated that the word "el", the Hebrew word for God, derived from the Hebrew word for ram, "ayil". Gash, John. Caravaggio. ISBN 1-904449-22-0. Prose, Francine. Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles. ISBN 0-06-057560-3. Robb, Peter. M. ISBN 0-312-27474-2. Spike, John T.. Caravaggio. ISBN 0-7892-0639-0. Dreyfus, Gustav.
Abraham, the man and the symbol: a Jungian interpretation of the biblical story. Wilmette, Ill.: Chiron Publications. P. 31. ISBN 0933029942. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list
The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)
Caravaggio created one of his most admired altarpieces, The Entombment of Christ, in 1603–1604 for the second chapel on the right in Santa Maria in Vallicella, a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A copy of the painting is now in the chapel, the original is in the Vatican Pinacoteca; the painting has been copied by artists as diverse as Fragonard, Géricault and Cézanne. On 11 July 1575, Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull confirming the formation of a new society called the Oratory and granting it the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella. Two months after the bull, the rebuilding of the church commenced. Envisaged in the planned reconstruction of the Chiesa Nuova, as it became known, was the dedication of all the altars to the mysteries of the Virgin. Starting in the left transept and continuing around the five chapels on either side of the nave to the right transept, the altars are dedicated to the Presentation of the Temple, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Circumcision, the Crucifixion, the Pietà, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Assumption and the Coronation.
The Entombment was planned and begun in 1602/3. The chapel in which the Entombment was to be hung, was dedicated to the Pietà, was founded by Pietro Vittrice, a friend of Pope Gregory XIII and close follower of Filippo Neri; the Capella della Pietà occupied a'privileged' position in the Chiesa Nuova: Mass could be celebrated from it and it was granted special indulgences. The chapel, placed in the right nave of the Chiesa Nuova, was conceded to Vittrice in June 1577, the foundation of the chapel ratified in September 1580; some time after his death in March 1600, a legacy of 1,000 scudi became available for the maintenance of the chapel, it was built in 1602, held to be the earliest date for the commission of Caravaggio's painting. Indeed, on 1 September 1604, it is described as'new' in a document recording that it had been paid for by Girolamo Vittrice, Pietro's nephew and heir. Girolamo Vittrice had a direct connection with Caravaggio: in August 1586 he married Orinzia di Lucio Orsi, the sister of Caravaggio's friend Prospero Orsi and the niece of the humanist Aurelio Orsi.
Aurelio, in turn, was a one-time mentor to the young Maffeo Barberini, who became Pope Urban VIII in 1623. It is through these connections that Girolamo's son, became bishop of Alatri in 1632, was able to bestow the gift of Caravaggio's Fortune Teller on Pope Innocent X Pamphilij after being appointed governor of Rome in 1647; the painting was universally admired and written about by such critics as Giulio Mancini, Giovanni Baglione, Gian Pietro Bellori and Francesco Scanelli. The painting was taken to Paris in 1797 for the Musée Napoléon, returned to Rome and installed in the Vatican in 1816; this counter-reformation painting – with a diagonal cascade of mourners and cadaver-bearers descending to the limp, dead Christ and the bare stone – is not a moment of transfiguration, but of mourning. As the viewer's eye descends from the gloom there is, too, a descent from the hysteria of Mary of Clopas through subdued emotion to death as the final emotional silencing. Unlike the gored post-crucifixion Jesus in morbid Spanish displays, Italian Christs die bloodlessly, slump in a geometrically challenging display.
As if emphasizing the dead Christ's inability to feel pain, a hand enters the wound at his side. His body is one of a muscled, thick-limbed laborer rather than the usual, bony-thin depiction. Two men carry the body. John the Evangelist, identified only by his youthful appearance and red cloak supports the dead Christ on his right knee and with his right arm, inadvertently opening the wound. Nicodemus grasps the knees in his arms, with his feet planted at the edge of the slab. Caravaggio balances the stable, dignified position of the body and the unstable exertions of the bearers. While faces are important in painting in Caravaggio it is important always to note where the arms are pointing. Skyward in The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus, towards Levi in The Calling of Saint Matthew. Here, the dead God's fallen arm and immaculate shroud touch stone. In some ways, the message of Christ: God come to earth, mankind reconciled with the heavens; as usual with his works of highest devotion, Caravaggio never fails to ground himself.
In the center is Mary Magdalene, drying her tears with a white handkerchief, face shadowed. Tradition held that the Virgin Mary be depicted as eternally young, but here Caravaggio paints the Virgin as an old woman; the figure of the Virgin Mary is partially obscured behind John. Her right hand hovers above his head. Seen together, the three women constitute complementary expressions of suffering; the left figure imitates the costume from Caravaggio's Penitent Magdalene. Andrew Graham-Dixon asserts that these figures were modelled by Fillide Melandroni, a frequent model in his works and about 22 years old at the time. Caravaggio's composition seems to be related to Michelangelo's Pietà as St. Peters, his Florentine Pietà, from which he takes the figure of Nicodemus. In the latter case, Caravaggio transports Michelangelo self-portrait to his own painting. Althou
Young Sick Bacchus
The Young Sick Bacchus known as the Sick Bacchus or the Self-Portrait as Bacchus, is an early self-portrait by the Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, dated between 1593 and 1594. It now hangs in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. According to Caravaggio's first biographer, Giovanni Baglione, it was a cabinet piece painted by the artist using a mirror; the painting dates from Caravaggio's first years in Rome following his arrival from his native Milan in mid-1592. Sources for this period are inconclusive and inaccurate, but they agree that at one point the artist fell ill and spent six months in the hospital of Santa Maria della Consolazione. According to a 2009 article in the American medical publication Clinical Infectious Diseases, the painting indicates that Caravaggio's physical ailment involved malaria, as the jaundiced appearance of the skin and the icterus in the eyes are indications of some active hepatic disease causing high levels of bilirubin; the Sick Bacchus was among the many works making up the collection of Giuseppe Cesari, one of Caravaggio's early employers, seized by the art-collector Cardinal-Nephew Scipione Borghese in 1607, together with the Boy Peeling Fruit and Boy with a Basket of Fruit.
Apart from its assumed autobiographical content, this early painting was used by Caravaggio to market himself, demonstrating his virtuosity in painting genres such as still-life and portraits and hinting at the ability to paint the classical figures of antiquity. The three-quarters angle of the face was among those preferred for late renaissance portraiture, but what is striking is the grimace and tilt of the head, the real sense of the suffering; the still-life can be compared with that contained in later works such as the Boy With a Basket of Fruit and the Boy Bitten by a Lizard where the fruits are in a much better condition, reflecting no doubt Caravaggio's improved condition, both physically and mentally. The painting shows the influence of his teacher, the Bergamasque Simone Peterzano, in the utilization of the tensed musculature depiction, of the austere Lombard school style in its attention to realistic details. Cindy Sherman, as part of her History Portrait series, produced a parody on Sick Bacchus, an ironic photographic self-portrait named Untitled # 224.
During a 2018 NPR interview, Paul Janeway of the band St. Paul & the Broken Bones said that the title of his band's new album, Young Sick Camellia, is an homage to Caravaggio's Young Sick Bacchus. Chronology of works by Caravaggio