The Calling Of St Matthew Caravaggio Analysis

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Caravaggio took Italian Baroque art in a new direction. One of the biggest changes in Caravaggio’s works is that instead of sticking to the norm of painting a generalized, almost stylized version of the subject matter, he painted with intense realism. He painted every detail that he saw. From the dirt under a person’s fingernails, to the perfect brown spots on rotting fruit. This actually caused Caravaggio to run into some trouble with his paintings. When commissioned to do a painting of Saint Matthew, his painting was rejected for being an almost “cruel” of depiction of the saint because of how realistic and common. This was not the only time though, much of his work was considered too realistic and distasteful. Caravaggio is known not only for his use of realism, but also for a strong use of tenebrism, which is a strong form of chiaroscuro, in other words, a strong contrast between a dark background, and very light characters, or objects. An example of this can be seen in Caravaggio’s “The Calling of St. Matthew”. Starting with the background, the room is a poorly lit tavern room, with a bright light coming from what we would assume to be a high seated window. This light pierces through the darkness in the room to shine upon the faces of the members gathered around a table. These brightly lit faces are a strong counter to the dark and …show more content…
Matthew” a great example of Caravaggio’s use of tenebrism, it also shows us his usage of strong realism, and dramatic gestures. Through exaggerated, but still human gestures, we get a sense of “liveliness” from the painting. We can see this looking at Matthew in his seated position, pointing towards himself, with an almost quizzical expression on his face. Over to the younger gentleman on the right, who almost seems to be about to lose his balance on the bench that he is sitting on. This, combined with Jesus’ outreached, almost pointing hand makes this entire painting seem to be almost

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