Select and Seeing Caravaggio

Northwich Library - Free - Normal Library opening hours
Until  Friday 6 February

Select by Beth Barlow and Simon Kennedy

Click here to find out more about Liquid Artists Collaboration

Seeing Caravaggio by Michael Troy

When first “seeing” great art it was Caravaggio who had the most profound effect on me. His work is Dramatic!

I now know that the technique he used is called “chiaroscuro” and the realistic single source of strong light with slight reflection made a huge impact on my emerging style. I have had the privilege of travelling around Europe and seeing most of his works in the flesh!

As a form of discipline and focus I took stretch pads of Bristol Board, pencils and a clear mind and drew the original in black and white.

Each drawing took many hours and several visits to the museum concerned. Not only did it require me to ignore passers-by, but it required me to learn just what a remarkable artist he was!!

In the stark contrast of pencil work I grew to appreciate the marvellous composition of each piece.

1. The Boy Bitten by a Lizard - Florence
2. The Inspiration of St. Matthew - Rome
3. The Supper at Emmaus - London
4. The Incredulity of Thomas - Potsdam
5. The Taking of Christ - Dublin
6. The Crowning with Thorns - Vienna
Click on the city to find out about the original painting.

If I try to explain what I mean by compositor let me encourage you to look at The Crowning with Thorns more closely. Look for triangles of light.

From Christ’s shoulder a line extends to the fore ground tormentor’s arm which leads up to the rod he is using. The naked torso of this figure creates another triangle in itself and is in contrast to the chest of Christ. A further triangle is made by the second tormentor and this also leads Christ’s head.

There is a subdued triangle in the reflected light of the armour of the passive official in the fore ground to the left.

There is also a form of triangle in the rods since Christ is holding one in the opposite direction of the other more powerful two.

Click here to learn more about Caravaggio (1571 - 1610)

Articles in pdf form on Caravaggio here and here.