Conversations with Caravaggio:Temporal disruption and the transformative role of the spectator in Caravaggio’s works.

Grace Guest

As a testament to the changing trends of Baroque art, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s paintings refute chronology and the linear order, allowing audiences of both past and present to engage in a divine experience. Many scholars have detailed the ways in which Caravaggio complicates time within his work. Specific works within the artist’s oeuvre have been employed time and time again to examine the representation of multiple temporalities. These case studies burst with humanity and realism; they are both familiar and intimate, made so by the striking mortality of Caravaggio’s characters. His ecclesiastical commissions are grounded in biblical narrative and yet, ambiguity is continually produced by the absence of verifiable settings and concrete contexts. In certain pieces, Caravaggio minutely alters the narrative, forcing one to question the moment that is being painted…PDF

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