The Crowning With Thorns – Caravaggio


The Crowning With Thorns. Caravaggio (1571 – 1610)

Caravaggio is one of my all-time favorite artists. His work has been hugely influential on a number of well-known artists, including Rubens and Rembrandt. He’s known for his incredible talent of depicting light, a technique known as “chiaroscuro.”

Caravaggio was a true bad boy of his times. Ultra talented, he didn’t lack for commissions, but he volatile tempter got him into fights. He spent time in jail, and even killed a man. He died young, at age 38, apparently under “mysterious circumstances.” He truly was gone too early, but the beauty of his art lives on.

The subject matter of this painting is difficult to look at, but the techniques used by Caravaggio leave me breathless. He was known for a naturalist style and it’s certainly on display here. Look at the hands of Jesus’s torturers. You can almost feel the powerful grip of those hands. Then appreciate how Caravaggio shows the light coming in from the left-hand side of the painting and how it highlights the workers’s shoulders and Jesus’s neck. The feathers in the hat of the nobleman shown in profile are so expertly painted that the softness of the item comes through the canvas. Same with the folds of material that he’s wearing, and in the dark red robe of Jesus. It’s truly a masterpiece.

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with my webmaster, Alla. {photo credits: Alessandro Bologna}