Caravaggio the Burial of Saint Lucy

Topics: Johannes Vermeer, History of painting, Painting Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: April 25, 2013
Saint Lucy was a local saint of Syracuse, who had been denounced as a Christian by her former suitor and had died in 304 from the tortures inflicted by local pagan authorities. Caravaggio may have worked in haste to produce a picture before the feast of Saint Lucy on 13 December. Originally, Saint Lucy's head was severed from her body but later Caravaggio joined it and left just a slit in the front of her neck - perhaps recalling Saint Cecilia, whose still-intact body with a gash in the nape of the neck had been sculpted in 1600 by Maderno. The heavily-muscled grave-diggers emerge from murky shadows, the mourners are so much smaller that they seem placed some distance away, the officer directing operations beside the bishop is obscured and only the young man above the saint stands out poignantly in his red cloak. Characteristically, light imitates the action of the sun by falling from the right. The scene takes the viewer back to the age of the Church of the catacombs. Caravaggio was well accustomed to painting multi-figural compositions. His use of monumental figures in the foreground compared to the smaller figures behind them creates the depth that is not obvious otherwise due to the dark background. Although the classical niche he painted in the back wall indicates more depth than there would be otherwise. Best known for religious art, notably renowned for his vivid realism and rejection of his idealization. Caravaggio does this through his manipulation of space, his use of perspective, and his use of chiaroscuro and tenebrism. His figures emerge dramatically from the background. Again we have an action packed drama unfolding before us.

Vermeer A Maid Asleep
The girl's face seems to resemble that of a young woman repeated in later paintings which some art experts believe to have been Catharina Bolnes, Vermeer's wife. According to Dutch costume expert Marieke de Winkel, who has examined the costumes of Vermeer's works, the maid wears a silk jacket...
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