Supper at Emmaus Essay

690 WordsNov 22, 20133 Pages
Supper at Emmaus, also known as the Pilgrimage of our Lord to Emmaus, is oil on a plain-weave linen canvas, fifty six inches by seventy seven inches, and was painted by Caravaggio in 1601. Being only thirty years old when he executed this work, his style of painting is recognized for its realism, emphasis on parallel space, and dramatic chiaroscuro. He also was known for half-length figures and still life as seen in Supper at Emmaus, which depicts the episode recorded in Luke 24 where the disciples are meeting the resurrected Christ. The painting centers on Jesus, who is wearing a red and white garment (The red means blood and the white means purity) and long hair. A table is set before him with three other persons around it. It looks that they are in a house or in an Inn at the village of Emmaus and they have prepared a supper for the “guest” (who they do not know at first is the returning Christ). The light in the painting is quite dramatic and looks to be a moment frozen in time. In the scene, Jesus has just broken and blessed the bread which makes him recognizable to the disciples besides him. The revelation is brightened by a beam of harsh light as the disciples look astounded, drawing the viewer’s eyes directly towards the cause of all the shock. It also uses a method called Chiaroscuro, meaning light-dark in Italian, which is a use of strong contrasts between light and dark that is used to achieve a sense of volume when modeling a three dimensional subject. He does this by using his trademark dark background, mostly illuminated by a single source of diagonal light that creates a violent contrast between brightness and darkness. The gazes of the people around Jesus also help out the movement of light creating lines that all lead to Christ. Caravaggio, being a naturalistic painter, wanted to make this look like an everyday scene. However, it is quite

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