Description of the painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio "St. Matthew and the Angel"

Description of the painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

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The artist turned to biblical subjects many times. It seemed that while working on the paintings he was looking for something very important for himself. The bright color distinction between the secular and the higher in his canvases creates an additional contrast between these two spheres. A detailed drawing of the figures and objects in the foreground gives the events a reality.

The painting St. Matthew and the Angel was conceived as part of the painting cycle for the chapel Contarini. The wizard created two versions. One was rejected as inappropriate to the requirements of the canons. The apostle sat and held a book on his lap, barely picking up what was written. The angel hovering over the saint made considerable efforts, directing the hand of the writing saint.

Such an interpretation of images did not suit church ministers at all. And they insisted on a second attempt. The second version is very different from the first composition and emotional message. The dimensions of the canvas were increased.

De figures stand out against a very dark, almost black background. Matthew listens attentively to an angel above his head. The saint's clothes contrast with the angelic white robe. The saint’s position is very unstable, but he does not pay attention to it, carefully recording the revelations of the angel.

The original of the first version has not been preserved, there is only a black and white reproduction. The fate of the second canvas would also be unenviable if it were not for art critic Roberto Longa, who rediscovered them and prepared them for the exhibition of the artist's works.

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