Caravaggio: His life and style in three paintings | National Gallery


  • I found this very well presented, informative and thoroughly enjoyable.
  • When I was researching for my current painting I found this - excellent video.
  • Thats great @Abstraction,  look forward to seeing it when its finished.   :)
  • edited April 18
    @Abstraction, what do you recon about his Supper At Emmaus painting with regards to the man seated right. His hand furthest away looks too big, bigger than the nearer hand.

    I think there have been discussions regarding perhaps the use of optics/lenses. Even so I would have though, regardless of that that he would see that the hand looks out of proportion.
  • edited April 18
    That video is well worth watching, @MichaelD.

    I have a picture of the The Supper at Emmaus  in an art book which I've looked at many times over the years, and I've seen the actual painting, but I'd never before noticed anything odd about that hand. But now that you've pointed it out I can't unsee it.  :)
  • @tassieguy I am glad you enjoyed the video.

    Yes I can never unsee that hand ever since it was pointed out to me.

    It looks almost as big as those foam ones people put on for fun to attend and watch sports games   :)
  • Yeah, that right hand is waaay too big.  
    There is no doubt in my mind that he used a camera obscura.  I think the fruit basket, chicken and bowl were added after the figure work was done and a camera obscura was used.  The perspective of the fruit basket doesn’t fit with the table.  
  • Yes, there are many paintings in history that give away their camera obscura use. Once seen, you can't unsee it.
    My current painting is partly inspired by that Emmaus painting. I learnt the hard way about how cameras distort and about perspective - a lot already documented here on other posts. First layout my sister said, 'Why is he giant? He looks like Jesus.' Yep, the person in foreground was disturbingly bigger, and I hadn't even noticed. Had to learn why. Camera too close - exaggerates size of images in foreground. In future put camera further back to minimise this effect. I also wanted his face lower than the others, so experimented to realise the camera needed to be slightly above eye level (which it wasn't) to achieve that.
    Second setup (after photoshop adjustment): An artist on wetcanvas dismantled the difference in perspective between foreground & background - and other things... and then I discovered the way cameras and perspective techniques themselves distort off-centre rounded objects and had to resolve everything. In the end I worked out exactly where the camera should have been to arrange it the way I wanted, months after the photoshoot - and adjusted every size and perspective to match it in photoshop. You better believe that took a lot of work, but also taught me a lot.
  • That is a very nice video.

    When I visited the National Gallery I liked Carvaggio's work much more than I thought I would based on seeing it online.
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