The Supper At Emmaus Caravaggio

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The role and function of an artist is an ever changing and evolving one. Artists are influenced by their place and time (cultural contexts) and by the work of their contemporaries as well as their predecessors (aesthetic or stylistic contexts). Therefore, it is critical to take these into account and understand why they were created and the purpose behind it to enhance our appreciation of art. In this report the work of Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio, one of the greatest Baroque masters and leading Italian painter of the late 16th and early 17th centuries famous for his intense and unsettling realism of his large scale religious artwork of “The Supper at Emmaus” will be examined (Dixson. “Caravaggio”). Caravaggio’s artistic …show more content…

The viewer is no longer just a passive observer, but is now a participant in the painting. He accomplishes this through the use of foreshortening of the disciples arms giving the illusion of it jutting out into our space, but also with the basket of fruit precariously balanced on the edge of the table. This sublime still life is so carefully worked out with details and vivid colors that it triggers the viewer’s sense of smell, touch and taste (synesthesia) as the fruits look good enough to eat and the temptation to push the basket back onto the table. Through the medium and language of the painting Caravaggio managed to stage the events of a distant sacred past and manipulate the viewer’s experience as if it were taking place in the present day (Dixson. “Caravaggio”). Nonetheless, the painting was also often criticized and denounced as an “ Antichrist painting and the destroyer of art” (Muther. "Caravaggio The Greatest Italian Baroque Painter of All …show more content…

Caravaggio’s depiction of Christ was appalling in the eyes of the Church as it was unusual and unorthodox at the time to show Christ (youthful or un-bearded) other than his known appearance. However, Caravaggio intentionally depicted Christ in this manner as a form of ‘disguise’ to remove any indications that would cause the recognition of the Risen Christ. This way it reinforces the fact it was not from his appearance, but rather his gesture that caused his recognition. Furthermore, his beautiful arrangement of fruits stirred up controversy and irritation towards its convincing believability. Obviously these fruits could not have been in season at the same time, yet Caravaggio had the power to trick the viewer into believing these fruits were real despite knowing it couldn’t have. Through this Caravaggio intended to show the miraculousness of this moment while reminding the viewer of its fictionality ("Supper at Emmaus Painting by Caravaggio." Caravaggio Gallery). This painting is greatly admired because it encapsulated everything people admired in Caravaggio, how polemical and different his whole approach to art was from other

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