Michelangelo Merisi and Caravaggio (1571-1610) automatic translate
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born September 28, 1571 in a small village near Bergamo, by the name of which he received his name, remaining in the history of world art - Caravaggio. The date of birth of the great artist became known only due to the preserved contract for his education, concluded by the parents of the future artist with the well-known at that time painter Simone Petzano. In a document dated 1584, it is stated that at the time of his imprisonment, Michelangelo Merizi was 13 years old. Peterzano was a disciple of the great Titian and lived in Milan, where Caravaggio’s creative career began.
The beginning of the creative path
Mother Michelangelo - Lucia Aratori, was the second wife of the architect and decorator Fermo Merizi, who served with Francesco I Sforza, who wore the title of Marquis and Caravaggio. In all, the family had five children. The first years of Michelangelo’s life were in Milan, where the family fled back to Bergamo, fleeing from the plague. True, the epidemic did not spare the father and uncle of the future artist, whose entire family remained in the care of the mother, who was in great need.
Entered in 1584 in the workshop of Simone Petzano, Michelangelo signs a contract with the Duke of Colonna, heir of the deceased in 1583, the Marquis and Caravaggio. The column, which decided to buy all the works of the young painter, as soon as he entered the studio of Peterzano, became the faithful patron of Caravaggio for his entire life.
The head of the Catholic Church, who was one of the biggest customers of paintings, was Pope Sixtus V, who favored the new trends in art, which had just begun to emerge in Lombardy. At this time, the Duchy of Milan, under the rule of Spain, became the center of strict artistic and religious doctrine. In particular, the art of Europe and Italy was under the rule of Mannerism, but in parallel with it existed Bolognese and Roman academism, limited to imitation of the great Venetian and Roman painters. In Lombardy, however, artists began to move away from Mannerism and orient themselves towards a realistic mapping of life. This trend had a great influence on the formation of the creative style of Michelangelo Merizi.
Unfortunately, we know little about the activities of the Milan workshop of Simone Petzano during the period when Caravaggio went there. Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo wrote in 1584 that Peterzano was delighted with the great demand, which his works consistently enjoyed «elegantly and easily». If you look at the frescoes he made in the Gareniano church near Milan, or his canvases such as Venus or Cupid and two satires (Corsini Collection, New York), one can see the obvious influence of Mannerism, mixed with the new Lombard realism.
In the early works of Caravaggio, the influence of Peterzano’s style is clearly visible, although it is obvious that continuity with the painting of the great masters of the Renaissance, such as Titian, Giorgione, Giovanni Bellini or Leonardo da Vinci. The work of the latter, namely, «Madonna in the rocks,» Caravaggio, of course, saw in the Milan church of San Francesco Grande. Also, back in Bergamo, the artist admired the painting of Lorenzo Lotto, distinguished by a special emotional tension.
The historian of art Mina Gregory convincingly proves that the young artist carefully studied the works of Andrea Mantegna, which is clearly demonstrated by the only fresco performed by Caravaggio, undoubtedly written under the influence of the picturesque style of this magnificent master of perspective. There was Caravaggio and in Mantua, where he examined the monumental works of Giulio Romana.
Meanwhile, in Milan, a real school was formed, which came under the influence of the picturesque manner of the Kampi brothers. In it young artists developed the themes of their work, focusing, first of all, on the real life, from which they drew inspiration. The painting of this creative group absorbed all the innovations in the fine arts of that time.
To discover the effect of chiaroscuro, Caravaggio, perhaps helped the work of the master of the High Renaissance Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo, whom the young painter admired. At the same time he created a portrait of the famous artist Sofonisba Anguissolu, who was in her early years familiar with the great Michelangelo. Sofonisba created genre scenes taken from everyday life. We can see in one of her drawings, created by charcoal and chalk, the image of her little son, who was bitten by a cancer by the finger. It was this drawing that prompted the young Caravaggio the plot of his first painting, which he wrote immediately after his arrival in Rome.
Unfortunately, we can only hypothetically talk about the creative formation of Caravaggio. According to the historian of art Berenson, the fundamental importance for the development of the style of Caravaggio was Giorgione. The influence of the Lombard school is also read very clearly. Roberto Longhi writes: «In Milan, a long time honored a group of artists who came from Lombardy, who created a simple democratic art... In their paintings there was a lot of human feelings, inner light and there was absolutely no religious ecstasy; the coloristic solution, the cut-off effects were coordinated among themselves and reconciled with nature. It was a realistic art that sought to reflect simply and truthfully nature and man. «
A significant role in the development of the artistic style of Caravaggio was played by Peterzano, who was a very progressive pedagogue for his time. In teaching, he emphasized precisely the technique of painting, without which it is impossible to achieve the peaks of mastery.
Hardly having reached the age of 18, Caravaggio, full of passionate desire to work independently, moves to Rome. The route of his travel is unknown, one can only assume that on the way he saw many works of great masters. In Rome, the young man is sheltered by the prelate Pandolfo Pucci. The first works of Caravaggio are distinguished by a simple plot: «A Boy Bitten by a Lizard» (1594, National Gallery, London), «A Young Man with a Basket of Fruits» (1593, Borghese Gallery, Rome), «A Boy Cleaning a Pear» (1593).
The first self-portrait of Caravaggio is the painting «Musicians» (1595, Metropolitan Museum, New York), at which the artist portrayed himself along with two other young musicians and the Cupid in the background. Many art critics consider the image of the Cupid as a kind of homoerotic symbol, indicating the tendency of Caravaggio to homosexuality. Soon the painter is seriously ill, but miraculously recovers and, almost immediately, he paints the picture «The Little Ill Bacchus» (1953, Borghese Gallery, Rome), which is his second self-portrait.
Caravaggio is sponsored by the mighty Cardinal del Monte, for whom the artist creates a series of religious canvases. In the painting «Penitent Magdalene» (1595-1597, Doria Pamphili Gallery, Rome), we see the first female image created by the artist. In the same period, the painter creates his second «Bacchus» (1596, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence), this time puffing up with health. Soon, Caravaggio provokes his first, but not the least, clash with justice.
But why did the young artist choose Rome? Biographers Caravaggio agree that the choice of the cultural capital of Italy, and hence the whole world, was due to the extraordinary ambitions of Caravaggio, who dreamed of becoming the greatest artist of all time. Is it because he repeatedly violated the law that he believed that he - a gifted God more than others - everything is allowed?
Rome at this time, indeed, flourished. The construction of St. Peter’s Cathedral, which was at that time the largest architectural structure in the world, was just finished. Erected the basilicas, such as San Giovanni Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore, opened the Ripetta harbor in the Tiber, which has truly become the gateway to peace. Pope Sixtus V invited all the talented painters of the peninsula to come to Rome, and many, including the Lombards, followed this appeal. All this was intended to bring to the whole world the triumph of Christianity.
As well as much about the life of Caravaggio, we do not know the exact date of his arrival in Rome. Maybe it was 1591 or 1592. There is much evidence that the artist arrived in the Eternal City even under Pope Clement VIII.
Arrived in Rome, a young artist, most likely, had with him several written in Milan canvases. But these works, with their realistic interpretation of characters and stories, could hardly arouse the interest of the local public, the tastes of which were then determined by mannerism and classicism. Great love in Rome used copies of the works of Michelangelo and Raphael. Significant is the fact that the painters who had great popularity in those days, such as Anesti, Shiolante, Taddeo Tsukkaro, Salviate, Raphaelino da Reggio, Cesars Nebbia or Giuseppe Cherazi, left only a minor trace in the world art history.
The historian of art Kallab writes: «Young artists who arrived in Rome at the end of the 16th century not only had to limit themselves to a meek imitation of old masters’ paintings, but also inherit the inherent idealism, artistic timidity, the fear of abandoning the empty surface manner of the image. In painting these artists were content only with external similarity. « To somehow survive, they were forced to submit to the tastes of the public and engage only in the decoration of life. An example is the work of Annibale Carracci, who came to Rome from Bologna. He was commissioned to decorate the gallery in the Palazzo Farnese. Already in the process of working on the implementation of the creative idea, he faced great difficulties and distrust of customers and the public.
The same thing happened with Caravaggio. He huddled in the poor neighborhoods of the city, in the same place where many other immigrants from Lombardy, the same unemployed artists, sculptors and stonemasons who tried to survive in anticipation of orders. Soon the painter managed to enter the service of Lorenzo Siciliano, in the workshop of which he met his fellow countrymen, the Longo brothers.
During this period, Caravaggio and his comrades spent their days in work, walks outside the city and amusements. Researchers were looking in vain for the works of the artist of this period. Perhaps he wrote something for himself, but, obviously, these pictures did not find buyers.
And yet, Caravaggio smiled luck in the face of a rich philanthropist, a man of subtle artistic taste, but with a dubious reputation, the prelate of the papal court, Monsignor Pandolfo Pucci. He was the brother of the Cardinal, who, by the way, also cared for the «timid» Benvenuto Cellini.
Prelate was fascinated by the dexterity, talent of the young artist and his uncompromising, explosive character. Pucci invited Caravaggio to his home, ensuring his existence. The artist, on his part, in gratitude for the kindness of the prelate, had to perform for him work on copying the best pious ecclesiastical paintings. All the works of Monsignor Pucci sent the Capuchin monastery to Recanati, in which he was once born and spent the early years of his life. We have not reached any work of this series.
Style and theme
Possessing a lot of free time and full creative freedom, Caravaggio could choose any subjects for his works and spend a lot of time thinking about them. Now we know for certain that the artist’s painting «The Boy Bitten by a Lizard» (around 1954, the National Gallery, London, and the second version, the Longi Foundation in Florence) was created during his residence with Monsignor Pucci. The painting was a kind of reminiscence on the well-known charcoal drawing of Sofounisba Anguissola. The young man on the canvas is depicted at the moment when the lizard bites him, and he frightens away his hand. For the first time in painting, a moment of movement was snatched away and fixed.
According to Berenson’s remark, in this work of Caravaggio there is a «universal need for innovations», a desire to destroy conventions. Perhaps there is also an allegory here: the bare shoulders of the boy and the flower behind his ear, indicate the young man’s belonging to the Roman lower classes - the world of prostitutes and thieves, which Caravaggio associated with physical pain and those suffering that necessarily accompany love. Throughout the creative career of the artist, the images of physical suffering were inseparably linked with the suffering of the soul.
His famous «Lutnist» Caravaggio wrote also during his stay at Pucci. Now the picture is in the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg. The image of a musician is very typical for the models chosen by the artist. There is another version of the canvas, it is stored in the Metropolitan Museum, in New York. On it we see the same music-making boy, but we do not see flowers or fruits next to him.
Amazing thoroughness with which the artist writes out musical instruments. The dreamy face of the lute player, the languor in his gaze, all speaks of the young man being carried away in his imagination into his deep inner world. In the Hermitage painting, you can read an intriguing inscription on the artist’s score: «Voi sapete chio vato» («You know that I love you»). I wonder who sent this admission? In the picture «Musicians» in the foreground also shows the score developed to the audience, which is kept by the half-naked singer. But here the inscription made by his hand, still no one could read.
The fact that for all the works of this period, Caravaggio was inspired only by young men (female images are absent), also suggests the non-traditional orientation of the artist. The first female image in his work was the painting «Penitent Magdalene,» written around 1596.
It is not known for what reasons Caravaggio left the home of Monsignor Pucci. Perhaps the prelate was very hard-tempered. The artist again appears on the Roman streets, devoid of means of subsistence. Fortunately, an old friend of the painter, who worked with him in the workshop of Lorenzo Siciliano - the artist Antiveto Gramatika, sheltered the homeless and impoverished Caravaggio. Grammatics enjoyed some success with the public, so it was provided with regular orders.
But misfortunes pursued poor Caravaggio, he falls ill with the Roman fever raging throughout the peninsula. A friend of the artist Longo took him to the monastery hospital Santa Maria della Consolacion, where they were taken to those who did not have the means to pay for treatment. There, Caravaggio was placed in a basement room, considered a death row.
Quite by accident, the artist caught the eye of the Prior of the hospital to the Spaniard, Senor Conteras, a good friend of Monsignor Pucci, who passed by and recognized Caravaggio. Контерас has asked to transfer deathly sick painter in other premise and has disposed to not depart from it to sisters-nurse. Only this saved the artist’s life.
But the themes of death and illness, from now on, as a distant echo of the experience, can be seen in many of his canvases, for example, in The Assumption of Mary. In gratitude for his salvation, Caravaggio painted for Contar’s paintings, but, unfortunately, they, like many of his other works, have not reached our days.
Six months spent in the hospital, pain and fear, concomitant diseases, left a deep imprint in the soul of the artist. It was then that Caravaggio creates one of the most famous of his works «The Sick Bacchus.» The figure of Bacchus is depicted in a mirror image: a puffy, pale face and dull eyes indicate the painful condition of the artist himself after the illness. In the «sick Bacchus» we see a god who is not able to enjoy the delights of life more, to rejoice in her.
The painting was written in the studio of one of the most famous painters of Rome, Chevalier Cesare d’Arpino, who sheltered Caravaggio in his house. Cesare d’Arpino was not much older than Caravaggio himself, but he was already known as a favorite of high society and even was adopted at the papal court. Belonging to one of the most popular art associations of the capital of Italy - the Academy of «The Reckless» (which also included poets such as Batista Laura, the future Pope Urban XVII and Torquato Tasso), d’Arpino preferred the divine to the rational. In gratitude for the shelter, Caravaggio was to perform garlands of leaves and flowers for the frescoes of Cesare d’Arpino. On this occasion, even a contract was signed. The contemporaries recognized Caravaggio’s paintings as perfect.
In the house of Cesare d’Arpino, Caravaggio became acquainted with many rich patrons of Rome: cardinals, merchants, ambassadors, and well-known artists with a good reputation: Van Dyke, Jan Bruegel and, possibly, Rubens. Among them was and drew attention to the young artist, recently arrived from France Valentine. There is a suggestion that later Valentine secretly took Cesare d’Arpino out of the studio and sold several works of Caravaggio.
Around that time, the painter creates another masterpiece - «A Young Man with a Basket of Fruits», which later will be presented to his nephew Shipione Borghese by Pope Paul V. Both paintings (this one and «Sick Bacchus») were in the Chevalier’s Cesare d’Arpino’s workshop up to 1607 year. Then, they were seized agents Pope Paul V, which came after the throne Pope Clement VIII, repayment of debts.
Not having a steady income, Caravaggio sought the help of Valentine, and he advised to do the painting of religious subjects. Indeed, the demand for church painting was enormous. Caravaggio has accepted the offer, he got paint and a brush, but after a while the agent is not brought religious work in his second «Bacchus».
On this canvas we see the ancient god in the form of a chubby young man, wholesome, with characteristic for many of the characters of the artist is a bit heavy eyelids. Bacchus head adorns the traditional wreath of vine, in his hand a glass of wine, and on the table, we see half-emptied the decanter. But there are other nuances - slightly wilted leaves in a wreath, spoiled stale fruit, thought-provoking attentive viewer.
Caravaggio biographer Giovanni Baglione writes: «Bacchus with a few branches of grapes, painted in different colors, written with great care and with a certain harshness and dryness of manner; This painting comes from the time when Caravaggio was trying to live on their money by selling his paintings. « In 1916, this work was re-opened by Roberto Longhi, who discovered it in the depository Uffizi Gallery.
Caravaggio’s extraordinary talent was assessed with a 300-year delay. It is not known whether the customer received the «Bacchus» or the work has not gone on sale, its implementation could not, in any case, help the master to solve their financial problems. Valentin, who believed in the great artistic talent of Caravaggio, persuaded the artist to take an order for execution of works with religious content, but stubborn, in spite of everything, started working on a new piece - he wrote, «the fortune-teller.»
On the canvas we see a street scene, or one of the popular theater scenes. Caravaggio Valentin paid for her 30 thalers! Subsequently, the work was donated by Prince Doria Pamphili, the French King Louis XIV, and is now kept in the Louvre.
X-rays of the product showed that under the image of a young fortune-teller is the earlier of the time pattern in a manner close Cesare d’Arpino. Perhaps Caravaggio simply to save money on the canvas. The vulgarity of the scene shocked his contemporaries, but that it later inspired other painters - Frenchman Georges de La Tour, to create a picture of the same name and on the same subject. After receiving the money, Caravaggio immediately rushed towards adventure, fights, brawls than forcing the papal police again to conduct strict supervision of his life.
What happened next? Valentino managed to persuade wayward artist to return to the right path? Probably, in this struggle with rebellious temper Caravaggio, he used the name of one of the richest art collectors of this period - the Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte. Finally the artist agrees to write to Cardinal picture on a religious theme, which became the first in his work.
True, the artist has put his condition: complete freedom in the choice of topics. Caravaggio once refused to write the traditional scene of the crucifixion and martyrdom. As a subject for the image the artist chose the theme ecstasy, consonant and his painting style and his artistic temperament. He begins the monumental work «The Ecstasy of St. Francis.» Caravaggio resolutely taken for the creation of paintings, sitting in the basement of the Valentines House, as quickly as possible to complete this difficult task for him.
The work was supposed to be highly artistic, masterful work that could open the door by Caravaggio in the collection the largest Roman art lovers. At the same time it would make him famous and helped to achieve the favor of the wealthy and influential people. Modern scholars of the artist considered the «Ecstasy of St. Francis’ first mature work of Caravaggio.
The genius of innovation
The product of «Ecstasy of St. Francis,» caused a lot of controversy and debate. Writer Dominique Fernandez sees it as the emergence of a genuine baroque. The plot unfolds in the night forest. In the background, Caravaggio painted simple shepherds who built a fire. In his view clearly emerges the figure of a sleeping accompanying saint - brother Leon. St. Francis presents the stigmata, in a state of mystical ecstasy.
Nobody before Caravaggio portrayed not religious ecstasy scene so holy lies on the hands of the angel whose image is embodied in the form of a seductive young man, strongly reminiscent of the artist’s favorite models typecasting. Figure of an angel, in spite of the wings behind him, not hovering, as it were, it falls to the ground. Trying to find a new figurative-expressive means, the artist enhances the play of light and resolves the whole composition as a theatrical re-enactment of an attempt to reach not only a considerable artistic effect, but more convincing.
«Ecstasy of St. Francis» did the job - marked the beginning of Caravaggio fame as a religious painter. It was followed by other monumental works by the artist, such as «Conversion of Saul» from the church of Santa Maria del weeded. Cardinal del Monte, valuing innovation painter, invites Caravaggio at Palazzo Madama.
Francesco Maria del Monte was ambassador at the court of the Duke of Tuscany pantifeksa Maxim. His residence was located at the Villa Medici. The Cardinal was a very educated man: he knew Hebrew, Greek and other Oriental languages. He was a great lover of music and painting, always open to new ideas. Due to this, Caravaggio made a good impression on him, and the Cardinal gave him creative freedom and complete content. Living in Palazzo Madama, and being perceived as a graduate of the Cardinal, Caravaggio became a sought-after and well-known artist. However, they are not only admired, but also hated.
Protected from all adversity, well secured, and can be, and love, the artist began to get used to the quiet life. That, however, did not affect the severity and sharpness of his pictorial language, which is constantly perfected. He was obsessed with the search for the most dramatic scenes, and embodying his ideas, he resorted to the wealth of contrasts, the play of light and shadow, giving his paintings the vitality and credibility.
Meanwhile nearing change centuries. Mannerism as an artistic direction gradually fell into disrepair Rises is history. It was a time of the Edict of Nantes, which put an end to Europe’s religious wars. France and Italy have formed an alliance: Henry IV married Marii Medichi. Michelangelo Merisi, who now took the name of Caravaggio, at this time was 25 years old.
Being a disciple of Cardinal, is pleased to acquire the majority of his works, the artist could completely surrender to the inspiration - «a moment of rage.» He began to write, not only religious but also genre paintings. «Kayuschayasya Magdalina» Caravaggio surprisingly real. By the way, I served as a model for the painter girl with streets named Julia. Two years later, he created the painting «Handling Magdalene», wherein even more painstaking study of all details.
In the house of Cardinal del Monte Caravaggio he wrote his famous still life «Fruit Basket». Looming above the table basket, it seems unusually material. Along with fresh juicy fruits, master «filled» it as overripe fruit and wilted leaves. This painting has never graced a collection of Del Monte cardinal only later discovered it in the studio Cavalier Cesare d’Arpino to which it gave the artist himself, as compensation for debts. Later on still life Caravaggio was forgotten. Until recently, the «Basket of Fruit» refers to the Dutch school of painting. Only a scientific study in 1919, conducted by Longhi, proved the authorship of Caravaggio.
Soon, the artist left the Palazzo Madama and moved into the house of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, who was one of the customers Valentina. Being under the influence of constant advice and guidance of his friend, Caravaggio again refers to the development of a religious order, without losing fidelity to the ideas and principles. The artist looks for dramatic situations in history and in life, it increases their theatricality composite solutions, extraordinary contrasts of light and shade, giving his work a whole new sound.
The works of «The Taking of Christ in custody» (National Gallery, Dublin, Ireland) and «Donation of Isaac» devoted to the subjects of the biblical story. The most attractive in the «Donation of Isaac» is the highest humanistic interpretation of the image of an angel, appeared to Abraham, raising his dagger over her son. Angel gestures for a ram, which shall be the responsibility of the altar instead of a boy.
The canvas «Saint Catherine of Alexandria» the artist depicts the background intimidating a torture wheel with steel spikes. Caravaggio skillfully the correlation of composition balance of dark and light parts. Work for some time is in the collection del Monte, it was sold by his heirs to the Barberini family, from which then came in 1935 in the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
To this period belongs the picture «Ioann Krestitel», the creation of a painter inspired by the figure of naked youths of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. He also wrote another Mariyu Magdalinu, performed in the style of Venetian masters ( «Appeal Magdalene»). On this canvas, in addition Magdalene leaning on a round mirror, we see another character - Martha, which introduces Caravaggio. Martha served as a model for Melandrone Phyllis, who worked with the artist and in the writing of St. Catherine.
Urgent personal request of Cardinal and a great demand for religious painting, the painter was forced to continue to work on the works on biblical themes. All of his subsequent work dealt a devastating blow to the pillars of European art - mannerism.
Soon Caravaggio decides to write a painting on one of the scariest moments of Jewish history described in the Old Testament. He writes, «Judith and Holofernes», which depicts the moment of cutting off the heads of the Assyrian tyrant Judith Holofernes. Model for Judith also served as Phyllis Melandrone. Initially, the artist depicted Judith topless, but later was forced to «cover up» her bodice. A little aside from the heroine is worth waiting an elderly maid. She readily holds a linen napkin to wrap the victim in her head. Image of an old maid was created Caravaggio inspired by «old heads» by Leonardo da Vinci.
Painting «Rest on the Flight into Egypt,» clearly demonstrates both acceptance and denial of traditions of religious paintings. Our Lady of brown hair contrasted with light red locks of the Child Jesus. Written from behind the angel playing the cello, his gaze fixed on the score that keeps Joseph. The husband of the Virgin Mary the artist depicted barefoot and bearded, he sits on the bag, next to which we see half-drunk bottle of wine. Employee background landscape surrounds the entire composition. He and a pattern of flowers and leaves are stylistically similar paintings by Giorgione, but certainly Caravaggio exceeds its power of his talent.
Painting «Rest on the Flight into Egypt,» was perceived by the public is ambiguous and has received a variety of assessment. Nevertheless, the cardinal gave the order for a new Caravaggio painted the ceiling of his residence (currently, there is Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi). The artist executed the order in the mid-1590s. This fresco is still the only known work by Caravaggio in the mural painting. Painter shows amazing mastery of perspective. Jupiter figure, Neptune and Pluto, they depicted on the mural, show exceptional abilities of 26-year-old artist. Although the work has been very favorably received by the enlightened art lovers, Valentine waited by a great artist. It helps Caravaggio signed a major contract for painting scenes from the life of St. Matthew’s largest Roman church of San Luidzhi Dey Francesi.
Under this contract, the artist has created two monumental paintings - «The Martyrdom of St. Matthew» and «The Calling of St. Matthew», which still adorn the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, being located at the same place where they were defined at the time of the artist. They are clear evidence of a new stage in the life and work of Caravaggio.
This picturesque complex was the largest of all executed in the artist’s life. And the result of his work was astounding. Written by him monumental works, which are based on an innovative perspective on biblical subjects, gave rise to a passionate disputes among both clergy and among art connoisseurs. This is not surprising, given that in the early XVII century church paintings and murals were in the focus of attention and aroused keen interest not only among the clergy but also for all art lovers, so everyone wanted to see the new work of painters.
Rather unusual history of this order. Cardinal Matteo Kontarelli, who wished to dedicate the chapel of St. Matthew - to his heavenly patron, invited to decorate the church painters and sculptors. The work was not yet completed at the time of the death of the cardinal, and the question of graduation in the future was discussed at numerous church councils. Among the artists involved in the chapel Kontarelli, it should be noted Girolamo Mutsiano and Cavalier Cesare d’Arpino, painted arches and ceiling of the church with scenes from the saint’s life. He was going to paint murals and all the walls of the chapel, but was unable to continue working due to unknown reasons. Its completion was entrusted to Caravaggio. Keep the contract, dated June 25, 1599, which concluded with the artist. According to him, Caravaggio received a reward of 400 crowns.
In fact, it is not clear why the choice fell on Caravaggio, rather than other, more well-known in those years of the Roman masters. Probably a big part here was played by the all-powerful mediation of the artist’s patrons: Cardinal del Monte and wealthy Genoese aristocrat and art patron Vinchentso Dzhustiniani. Of course, the artist was pleased to honor him, and immediately set to work. But it became a problem: in the chapel Kontarelli regularly served Mass, and therefore to establish the forest needed to create large-format compositions, it was impossible. Caravaggio offered a way out - he decided to perform large-format oil paintings on canvas measuring 3.40 x 3.24 meters! None of his contemporaries have not yet carried out orders of this magnitude. A little thought, the clergy gave their consent.
Painter did not meet the agreed contract terms and gave his job after a few months. He finished the «Martyrdom of St. Matthew» in time for the beginning of 1600. Caravaggio has repeatedly cheated on canvas composition in search of the most successful solutions. Painter depicted a scene that takes place in the courtyard of the King of Ethiopia, ordered the execution of St. Matthew preached the Gospel there. The executioner, holding a sword at the ready, already bent over resisting a martyr, to kill him. Angel holds sacred palm branch - the emblem of martyrdom for the faith. In the distance is a young man with a gentle face, instinctively trying to pull away from the terrible scene taking place. Runaway boy turns his back, his face expresses unspeakable horror. In one of the paintings of characters, the witness of this atrocity - middle-aged man with a beard and haggard expression on his face - you can learn of Caravaggio. This is the third self-portrait.
The painting «The Martyrdom of St. Matthew» wins above all realistic authenticity, emotional intensity and limiting convincing way. Hermann Voss writes: «In a time when Caravaggio for greater impact began to use in the development of multi-figured compositions of the invention of the manner of illumination, he felt the need to abandon the linearity-planar image tools used by Zuccaro and Giuseppina. His competitors did not hesitate with critical judgments. One of the theoreticians of the Roman Mannerist artist Zuccaro spoke as follows: «Much ado about nothing! I do not see nothing but copying the style of Giorgione! «.
recognition of talent
Painting «The Calling of St. Matthew», made a few months later, and installed in the chapel next to the song «Martyrdom», gave further food for conversation. The artist revealed the mystery of «calling» in the form of a scene from the Roman daily life. Realizing his bold plan, Caravaggio chooses the scene of the premises of one of the Roman taverns, which are commonly found gamblers. In the original episode of the Gospel stories happening in the room corresponding to the modern customs. After all, it there is a question about the main tax collector, a chief tax collector, controlling the collection of taxes.
The canvas light falls from above and covers only the right side of the room. The only window is tightly closed and seems immured. The painter portrayed is not right for the sacrament of handling the situation, but it is here that there is Jesus. Entering, he points his hand at elected tax collector, and this gesture is somewhat reminiscent of the movement of the hands of God the Father, with the fresco «The Creation» by Michelangelo.
Finally, Caravaggio became famous. He convincingly proved that the painting may harmonious connection with the divine daily. Jesus’ appearance in the office for the collection of taxes as shown on his canvas, does not seem blasphemous. However, this innovation in church painting has caused endless debate. However, the executor of the will of Cardinal Kontarelli happy and immediately commissioned the artist to perform a central image to the church altar. The motif of the last image was determined in advance - St. Matthew and the Angel. Painter time presented the work to customers, but it was rejected due to the fact that Caravaggio gave the image of St. characteristic features of simple peasant, portraying him bearded, bald, with bare and dirty feet.
Under pressure from the clergy, Caravaggio is the second version of the painting, with a completely different plot interpretation. In the second mode of operation, the painter refuses to demonstrate emotional closeness between the apostle and whispering something in his ear angel. Altarpiece of Saint Matthew, Caravaggio created, and can be seen today in the chapel of the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. Art Ensemble of three monumental paintings for a long time remained in the basement chapel Kontarelli dark oblivion, until it was «revived» from oblivion Roberto Longhi. The first display of these works was held in 1922 at an exhibition organized in Florence.
These sensational paintings of Caravaggio brought unprecedented success. He immediately received a new order. Now, the artist had to perform work on a religious theme to another chapel, which stands on a beautiful area of Rome - Cherazi in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. Chapel, located on the left of the altar, was bought Cherazi family for a family tomb.
It was 1601, in Caravaggio finally appeared disciples, one of whom, Giovanni, even moved to his teacher, in the basement of the Palazzo del Monte. The artist, meanwhile, finished the painting «The Assumption of Mary», written for the Chapel of Cherubini in the church of Santa Maria della Scala in Trastevere, executed by order of mendicant friars-Carmelites with the direct mediation of the Marquis Giustiniani.
Painting «The Assumption of Mary» was to be the biggest in the altar of the chapel. The composition of the painting shows us a dying Mary. Her room is poor, the whole miserable situation consists of towering bed, a chair and a vessel for washing. Deathbed covers a large red curtain that hangs straight from the ceiling beams. Lange says: «The film tells us about how the death of a woman looks out of the ordinary people... The pain of each standing at the bedside is impressive and gets unlimited power thanks to the impact of the flow of light, struggling with the shadows falling on the left and from the inside illuminating the shimmering flaming colors. Grief and shock present, expressively accentuated lighting, seem infinitely vast, inexhaustible. «
Not surprisingly, the Carmelite monks rejected picture. This is not without its rumors. Does the artist invited as a model for the main character a woman of easy virtue? Caravaggio painted the mortal remains of Mary so that all point to the transferred severe disease. Even the image in the foreground with a bowl of acetic water intended for washing the dead, in itself was blasphemy and alerted the church. It is necessary to recall that the year before the Inquisition in Rome at the stake Dzhordano Bruno was burned, had rejected religious dogmatism.
Work «Assumption of Mary» for a long time did not find a buyer until the Duke of Mantua Vinchentso Gonzaga has not acquired it for his own collection on the advice of Rubens. Rubens was delighted boldness and power of the painting by Caravaggio, his skill in the transfer of light and shadow. The work «The Assumption of Mary», as well as a large part of the collection of the Duke, was sold in 1628 to England, Charles I. Some time after the king’s death, the painting belonged to the Parisian banker, then it was bought by Louis XIV.
During this period, Caravaggio again begins to meet with their friends from the poor quarters, and did not try to sign a lucrative contract with the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which is very worrying Valentine. Nevertheless, the artist agrees to write a monumental painting for the wealthy banker Marquis Giustiniani - «Crowning with Thorns». The original version of the picture, which has long been considered a copy, was identified only in 1974, it is located at the Art Gallery of Prato.
In addition to her master, in an incredibly short time, he wrote another work of large size - «The Entombment», which is now in the Vatican. In this work the wonderfully demonstrated his extraordinary vision of light and shadow, and the talent to work with the «revived» paints. The painting was the only work of Caravaggio on a religious theme, promptly and positively accepted by customers from the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicelli, on behalf of Monsignor Vitrichi. Later, Rubens made a copy of this paper, slightly changing the composition.
Soon, an important contract with the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, 400 crowns, with the direct assistance Valentine was imprisoned. This money allowed Caravaggio to pay off debts and gain some independence. Initially, according to the contract, the artist had to write a pair of small-format works made on cypress boards, however, as a result of Caravaggio wrote them on canvas with oil paints. Subjects offered Senor Cherazi: «The Crucifixion of St. Peter» and «Conversion of Saul». Most likely, the painter-heartedly executed this order, a former classical in every respect.
Nevertheless, the clergy strongly rejected the first version created by the artist paintings, which gave rise to the creation of the second version. The original version of the canvas «The Crucifixion of St. Peter» is located at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, while the first version of the «Conversion of Saul» lost. The second version of the «Crucifixion» was created with the utmost realism and so convincingly that the Carmelite monks took her with fear. Caravaggio depicts the executioners, who are trying to raise a large cross with nailed him holy. The artist wrote the apostle Peter with the sitter, who posed for him for the painting «The Rest on the Flight into Egypt» and paintings, located in San Luigi Francesi lei. «The Crucifixion of St. Peter» has been accepted by the customer, albeit with some dissatisfaction.
Painting «The Conversion of Saul» was rejected twice by the monks before being placed in the chapel Cherazi. It was the fact that such an interpretation of the biblical story, as in the painting «The Assumption of Mary», was an incredible provocation. Suffice it to note that almost all the space of the canvas is reserved for the image of the horse. One of the prelates of the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo is persistently challenged the artistic solution with by Caravaggio. Servant of the church recorded the conversation for the history: «Why the horse in the middle, and the Apostle Saul lying on the ground?» - «That’s right!» - «Should the horse to replace God?» - «No, but it stands in the light of God.»
Berneson notes that «... Caravaggio anticipates something of the sculptors of our time...». Roberto Longhi said that the two paintings from the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, are clear proof of artistic genius of the master. «Experiments in the field of painting by Caravaggio finally allowed him to apply the reduction of deep shadows, and it certainly heightened the impact of his tragic and courageous realism... Caravaggio completely changes the traditional iconography. Perhaps this is the most revolutionary painting in the history of religious art, which helped make an important turning point in the immense spiritual development of society, «he writes. Anthony Blunt is more concise, but argues that this painting by Caravaggio inspired by Georges de La Tour in the creation of the painting «Saint Joseph the carpenter.»
Because of the delay with the implementation of the order, Caravaggio was fined 100 crowns. Works of Santa Maria, as well as webs of San Luigi, were gradually forgotten. One reason for this was too high placing paintings in the church building. And «Conversion of Saul» and «The Crucifixion of St. Peter» were located in partial shade under the ceiling, so that to see them was almost impossible. Only in the XX century was their second birth.
The artist was very sensitive to criticism. Absorb indignation and resentment, he dipped his head in wild life. For months, Valentin did not hear anything about it. A Caravaggio wandering around Rome with a young groom named Benedetto and his friend Lionello Spada. However, Valentin still managed to get on his trail. Having found a painter, he invited him to create a series of paintings by the well-known mythological subjects. Thus were born the painting «Narcissus» and «Amor Vincit Omnia» (1603).
Fabrics, for sale, have caused extreme frustration through hostility criticism from art dealers, who considered them indecent. Perhaps the model for the figure of Cupid, the painter depicted in a very earthly, playful child, served as the groom Benedicto. Armed with arrows, boy, do not hesitate, mocks symbols of love, art, authority and power. The work has a meaningful title: Amor vinciti omnia ( «Love Conquers All»). In addition, there were rumors that the «Amor Vincit Omnia» was created as a parody of the famous statue of Michelangelo’s «Victory», which stands in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Others see it as an allusion to the image of St. Bartholomew from the fresco «The Last Judgment» of the Sistine Chapel. Of course, Caravaggio drew in the work of his great predecessor homosexual theme.
The period from 1602 till 1606-th years was filled with not only creative, but also adventurous adventures, constant clashes with the servants of the law, benefit countless fines. For example, a certain painter Girolamo Spampa wounded sword for offensive comments about his works. A little later, he was charged in the composition and printing of defamatory poetry about the painter and his own future biographer Baglione. It happened just when the artist finished the «Ascension» to work for the Roman Church del Gesu. Then, for the composition of the acclaimed defamatory libel (which is not forgiven in Rome), the painter was sent to prison Torre Di Nona, even there, managing to not behave in the best way. Caravaggio’s statements abounding boldness, lies and slanders, not helped him leniency of judges.
If not for the intercession of the two, or even three Cardinals and the Marquis Giustiniani, Caravaggio would inevitably received a long prison sentence given to the same set of previous convictions. But the artist has repented and promised no longer to commit misdeeds, and even asked for forgiveness from Baglione, after which he was released. So he was able to finish the work «David with the Head of Goliath.» In it the artist freed from the influence of Mannerism and gave a completely new interpretation of space and light. Three years later, Caravaggio wrote another version of this painting. He soon signed a contract to build a monumental work «Madonna di Loreto» for Cavalletto chapel in the Roman church of S. Agostino. The artist set to work, but this work did not bring him happiness. Despite the warning, Caravaggio invites him to pose for a prostitute to Piazza Navona named Helen.
Who was one of the customers notary Mariano Paskvalone openly expressed his resentment of this fact. This or something else has created a strong conflict between the painter and the notary, which ended with the bloody Paskvalone appeared in the court yard and explained that he was beaten by the artist Caravaggio front of the palace of the Spanish ambassador. Scandalous and criminally punishable incident forced Caravaggio to urgently leave Rome.
He travels to Genoa in 1604 and takes there the patronage of the Duke Marzio Colonna, his former quarterback with his studies in Milan. There Caravaggio gets an offer from Prince Marcantonio Doria, who wished that the artist painted the frescoes of his residence. But the painter refuses lucrative contract. Now the gallery Palazzo Bianchi is a work of Caravaggio’s «Ecce Homo» (Ecce Homo, 1606), which may have been written precisely in this artist’s arrival in Genoa. However, this has not been proven.
Suddenly, the notary Mariano Paskvalone withdraws its complaint on Caravaggio and the artist returns to Rome. There he finishes the «Madonna di Loreto». At this incredibly popular canvas depicts the Virgin Mary «hovering in the sky» in the altar space. The artist decided to present it in a simple peasant’s appearance at a time when she was touching gentleness and reverence meets two barefoot, dirty pilgrims. Madonna’s face is full of infinite humility, and the Child Jesus, which she holds in her arms, looking at the elders with a mixture of curiosity and concern. In the interpretation of the most impressive images of the pilgrims.
The picture, as always, has caused a lot of controversy and endless debate, during which the painter appears as new fans and new implacable enemies. The priests of the church of S. Agostino could not decide to take the job and, therefore, pay contract Caravaggio. In the state of Modena archive preserved letter from a priest, where he describes the problems of the artist with the justice system and the judicial proceedings in the Curia.
Soon there was a new incident, which, of course, only worsened the situation of the painter. On the merry meal in the Albergo del Moro boy - and the waiter rudely-track served Caravaggio, who threw him a plate of artichokes. This led to a brawl and arrested the offender order. The artist was again at the court yard, which left only because of its patrons. Trying to somehow redeem and justify himself, Caravaggio receives order for two paintings: «Saint Francis with the skull» and «Jerome Writing», intended for the church Capuchin monks.
Around the same period include the work of «Christ in the olive grove», destroyed in 1945 during the bombing of Berlin. We can now see a copy of it. These same years Longo dates «Ioanna Krestitelya» from the Borghese Gallery and another version of the painting «Christ at Emmaus», which is now in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.
This period was the most fruitful for the stay of Caravaggio in Rome. In a second embodiment paintings «Christ at Emmaus» the artist reaches the highest skill in the compositional structure of the painting, in which the figure of five biblical figures fill substantially all the space of the canvas.
Patronage of the Duke Column Caravaggio helped make orders more numerous. Now, his creative genius could fully open, and the award-winning artist is not long in coming. In spite of the bad fame of the painter, nephew of Cardinal Shipione Borgeze received permission from the Pope Paul V to instruct the image of the Madonna of Caravaggio design for St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Absolutely all the Roman painters of that time dreamed of working in the largest cathedral in the world. Under the terms of the contract, it was necessary to decorate the altar of the chapel Palafreneri most important, one of the most noble families of Italy, which include Pope Paul V. Instruction execution of this order of the cardinals of the church council was Caravaggio was for the artist an excellent chance to fully recover ruffled reputation and establish its position as one of the best painters of Rome and throughout Italy.
But, as always, obstinacy Caravaggio ruined everything. In spite of the advice and warnings, the artist once again invites outdoor model girl Helen. He fulfills the order at a fast pace - all the work on the canvas was completed in just three days, and then, presented to the public.
It was an indescribable collapse of all the ambitions and hopes of the painter. More than ever before Caravaggio did not manage to move so in a realistic interpretation of the Gospel story and life authenticity of images. As might be expected, most of the audience considered the work terribly vulgar.