Caravaggio's Calling of Saint Matthew

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The Calling of Saint Matthew created by Caravaggio, brings out emotional effects by manipulating the light on the piece. With all the subjects in the scene, without the lighting, it would be difficult to point out the focus or the focal point of the painting. If all the people were visible as clearly as Matthew is, then the piece looses its meaning and emphasis of what is going on. By highlighting certain elements, and darkening others, he created large contrasts between the two side by side to bring even more emphasis on the main people, mainly by highlighting Matthew. Just like in a motion picture, lighting is used to create a sense of evil, passion, hope, etc. Caravaggio uses the same to convey the emotion of being caught, put in the spotlight so to speak. It is as if Matthew had done something wrong, and Jesus is calling to him, as the painting is titled, to repent in a way. When looking at Jesus himself, he is not casted in the light. In most paintings including Jesus, he is more often than not the main subject of the piece and because Caravaggio wanted to included the man as well, however him not be the main thing viewers look at first. He accomplishes this by diminishing his frame within the darkness. Just like in theater drama, the main focus that the audience looks to Is the one that's casted in light. The painting is given structure though the lighting and contrasts. Considering the actual light source in the painting, had the light been completely natural, all the light from the sun would beam through the window lighting nearly that entire room fairly well, certainly not pitch black in the corners. Caravaggio gives structure to his work by using light as a revelatory tool, to make emphasis on subjects. As Jesus calls out to Matthew, he is glaring back from the light in fear. As the rest of the people in the scene are pointing as well, Matthew

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