The Work of Caravaggio

Caravaggio was a realist to the extreme ‘Caravaggio’s intense level of realism was hardly appreciated by his peers. The thinkers behind the Council of Trent wanted art to be more natural than the Mannerist fantasies that had been in style, but Caravaggio went above and beyond this call.
This artist shows everything, from dirty fingernails, to the dirty bottoms of feet, to the bruises and worm holes on apples and the holes in pierced ears.

chiaroscuro was the style he founded it is the us of light to create volume and emphasize humanism.

tenebrism is the extreme of chiaroscuro and is used to demonstrate division and suffering.

In 1606, Caravaggio had to flee Rome with a price on his head after committing a murder. From 1606-10, he was constantly on the run, from Naples, to Malta, to Sicily, painting all the way. During this time of intense fear and personal trauma, Caravaggio’s paintings reached the ultimate in darkness and despair. Focusing on religious subjects and portraits his works were grim, somber and unsettling.‘ quotes from –

In my work I intend to use the effect of chiaroscuro to show a relationship between:

1: Two  characters. by having a character enter the light I hope for it to symbolize hope found through the character who moves into the light.

2: A person and an unfamiliar environment, This will use the lighting to make the environment seem deeper and darker. The character will put there hand in the light so that it acts like a gobo which should create an interesting aesthetic and show that the character  is experimenting with there light as they don’t recognize the surroundings.

3: A character and there feelings aka shaky torch beam through mist showing fear and apprehension.

4. I wish to create an ambient mood by using a tree branch as a gobo to make the scene look interesting.


This research document has some interesting points about the physiological and psychological effects of light in a space:

the tables are of particular interest as thought people generally know how lighting and color effects emotions this provides a value  and a pattern for instance using intense blue light in order to create sympathy will also increase an audiences heart rate which provides a great opportunity to alter the tempo of sounds and change the entire perceptual mood of a scene.

“Direct light creates that stimulation, directly affecting the senses straight on. We need stimulation in lighting, the excitement and keeping the senses engaged in Entertainment lighting. In order to compete with the industry of entertainment in general.

Indirect light creates calm, suspense or curiosity playing on the senses via emotions and feelings. Can be used effectively to give the senses a break from being too over-stimulated. Creating a balance.” ––physiology-effects-of-lighting.html

About kitjaytaylor

Film student
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3 Responses to The Work of Caravaggio

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    This research is an excellent parallel to your topic, Kit. Try to remain focused within the brief and ask yourself—how do the Caravaggio paintings connect to your own work? Bring in a couple of specific pieces (which you already have in this post!) and discuss specifically how light and dark are used to shape the sense of meaning in the image.


  2. kendalcollegefilm says:

    (Or the relationships of the characters within the picture…)


  3. kendalcollegefilm says:

    One of my colleagues here suggests you consider the work of Rembrandt also!


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