Essay about The Great Beam Of Light Shining

1846 Words Nov 29th, 2016 8 Pages
At first glance, we assume that Caravaggio has intentionally diminished the luminescence of the Divine figure of Christ, and chose to represent Him in a very human and less mystical form. Instead of a grand halo, we see a modest light encircling His head, and the greater draw is towards His posture in calling the saint-to-be, Matthew. But there are other elements that may suggest Divinity – for instance, the great beam of light shining through the window casts a forceful presence and unnatural spotlight on Levi (Matthew). The light itself may be significant in spiritual symbolism as there is no shadow projected behind Levi, rather, his whole face and upper body are shown to be illuminated by the presence of the Christ1. The Christ remains veiled in the shadows, almost as if He were a mystery, and a choice is presented – would Levi follow Him and become Matthew, or would he remain with the tax collectors devoid of spiritual purpose? The greater beam of light seems to articulate Levi 's choice to follow the Christ2. While the greater beam of light seems to be symbolic of the presence of the Divine figure of Christ, it acts like a symbol of revelation upon Levi – that the Holy One of Israel has walked into his place and called him directly – as opposed to a symbol of Christ being unattainable in Holiness, which is represented in the modest use of the halo. Caravaggio seems to do-away with the tedious (and almost arogant) use of divine symbolism, and brings the Christ into…

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