Taking of Christ – (Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)) Previous Next


Artist:

Topic: Christianity Religious

Date: 1598

Size: 134 x 170 cm

Museum: National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin, Ireland)

Technique: Oil On Canvas

There are seven figures in the painting: from left to right they are St John, Jesus, Judas, two soldiers, a man (a self-portrait of Caravaggio), and another soldier. They are standing, and only the upper three-quarters of their bodies are depicted. The figures are arrayed before a very dark background, in which the setting is disguised. The main light source is not evident in the painting but comes from the upper left. There is a lantern being held by the man at the right (Caravaggio). At the far left, a man (St John) is fleeing; his arms are raised, his mouth is open in a gasp, his cloak is flying and being snatched back by a soldier. The fleeing figure of John in his terror contrasts to the entering self-portrait of the artist, thus making the point that even a sinner one thousand years after the resurrection has a better understanding of what Christ is than does his friend four days before.Two of the more puzzling details of the painting are, one, the fact that the heads of Jesus and St. John seem to visually meld together in the upper left corner, and, two, the fact of the prominent presence, in the very center of the canvas and in foremost plane of the picture, of the arresting officer's highly polished, metal-clad arm

This artwork is in the public domain.

Artist

Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)

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