Imagine that you are sitting in the audience at the theater and eagerly awaiting the stage show. After a while, all the lights go out. The voices are slowly fading away, although there are still discreet whispers all around. And in this darkness and these fractions of a second, you are filled with a unanimous thought that soon the whole stage will light up fully and reveal the scenery carefully prepared for the performance, as well as the actors taking part in the project. Now, as in every play, there will be an introduction, some development of the action, then an ending. And you are prepared for such a course of events. What if the director has prepared a different form of artistic expression for you? When the stage is illuminated only by short-lived bright flashes, biblical, mythological, and generic heroes will emerge from the darkness one by one. The light will go off and on like a spotlight. You won’t notice much about it from the surrounding scenery. Do you know why? Because your eyesight and all attention are to focus not on what is around, but on the physicality of the characters, their characterisation is characterised by a high degree of naturalism and realism, on the prevailing relationships between them, feelings, and spiritual or emotional states accompanying them.
You are supposed to feel them as if you yourself were becoming active participants in this spectacle. You even must enter their mentality and experience on your own what they, according to the artist’s assumption, experienced. Understand the dramas unfolding with their participation, and share the same experiences of spirituality. Are you up for it? To participate in such a spectacle? If so, welcome to the art of Caravaggio! A genius who revolutionized the art of his time. And if only! He even captured the thoughts of his contemporaries and those from the next eras who wanted to continue his legacy by becoming the most faithful followers. So, if you are really prepared to enter the world created by this creator, keep your eyes and minds wide open because the show is about to begin!
As you will see in a moment, each painting by this master is like a separate nude, and in many of these nudes there is no place for the so-called soft game. Do you want evidence? That’s it! We have a dark theater. Suddenly flash. And you see David with Goliath’s head cut off. What a view! The giant’s face, frozen in a grimace, betrays as if the last scream uttered in life. Even the sword had not yet dried, stained with the blood of a Philistine warrior. Darkness again. Suddenly flash. And here even more brutality, because here we have an eye-witness scene of Judith beheading Holofernes.
Blood gushes forth from the severed arteries, and in a moment his head will drop and roll on the ground. The lights go out. Flash. And we see how the torturers abuse Christ crowned with thorns, scourging, and maltreating him, without showing the slightest sign of pity for this Son of God. Darkness falls again. And after a while we see Saint John, the Baptist pressed to the ground. He, too, will soon lose his head, which will land on the bowl like the driest food. Sharp, right? Well, well, but let it not be that in Caravaggio’s art only heads fell like trophies. Oh, no! In addition to scenes that can make you dizzy and, in some cases, indigestion, some arouse confusion, regret, disbelief, and undeniable tension. Their heroes are ordinary gamblers, saints, angels, and mythological heroes. Little in the daily activities they devote themselves to, some are stricken with illness, and still, others fulfill their mission on earth in accordance with the will of the Highest God. Want to meet them? Let’s open the curtain and look at what this great genius has painted.
Written By Kamila Krzyzaniak