The Artist Birthday Series

Caravaggio

"Boy Peeling Fruit,"" 1591
“Boy Peeling Fruit,”” 1591

 

"Boy With A Basket Of Fruit," 1593
“Boy With A Basket Of Fruit,” 1593

 

"Young Sick Bacchus," 1593
“Young Sick Bacchus,” 1593

One of his most famous works of this period is the theatrical Judith Beheading Holofernes. He chose as the subject matter, the moment of greatest dramatic impact, the moment of the decapitation itself. X-rays have revealed that Caravaggio adjusted the placement of Holofernes’ head as he proceeded, separating it slightly from the torso and moving it slightly to the right. The faces of the three characters demonstrate his mastery of emotion, Judith in particular showing in her face a mix of determination and repulsion. Many artists to come after him were deeply influenced by this work, including Artemisia Gentileschi who surpassed Caravaggio’s physical realism, it has been argued that no one matched his capture of Judith’s psychological ambivalence.

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