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Caravaggio was the first prominent painter to have used what we call the baroque style of painting. He is remembered in the history of art for his unique use of light and shadow which lent a drama to the paintings not seen in the previous renaissance masters. Caravaggio introduced many new techniques that have ever since enriched western art. He used the chiaroscuro technique in which a scene in a painting would be prominently divided into dark and light. A way to recognize his paintings are to look for this particular aspect. He also played with the depth of field in paintings and in his most famous pieces, objects or persons in the paintings seem to be almost on the verge of falling into the space of the viewers. Caravaggio paintings are a treasure to have because of the way he humanises his subjects, departing from the Renaissance ideal. They are rich in colors and lend drama to the walls it is put up in. Here are some of his famous pieces.

1. Bacchus

A depiction of the God of love unlike any other Caravaggio paintings, Caravaggio takes a Classical figure and gives it his signature humanity. The God of love here hardly looks like a divine figure, his eyes suggest an inebriated state of mind. His clothes and crown are all crumpled indicating that the figure must have just awoken from a slumber. A sense of languor is conveyed through the painting as the young God hastily pulls at his robes to offer us wine. Even the fruit in front of him looks rotten. Instead of buying the cherubim depictions of Bacchus, getting your hands on this print would show taste and imagine what a wonderful piece it would be for the retiring room.

2. Judith Beheading Holfernes

Another of those iconic Caravaggio paintings where the artist infuses drama into a story out of the Old Testament. The young Judith is transformed into a woman of power in this depiction. The head of Holofernes is rendered even more gigantic by bringing it closer to the field of the audience. We the spectators are all the more aware of the power of this meek woman who has had the courage to cut the head of this larger than life man. Here we can see Caravaggio’s remarkable use of the richest colours in the red drapery and the spilling blood of Holofernes. Caravaggio here starts darkening the background, and we can hardly see anything except the red curtain.

3. Supper at Emmaus

Caravaggio painted two versions of this scene from the Bible where Jesus reveals himself to his disciples after resurrection. The two versions are a study in how Caravaggio’s style changes. While the first is full of dramatic colours, the second later version is sombre and the darker shadows give way to a subtler homely feel. The figures of the innkeeper and his wife are the people that increasingly populate the scenes of Caravaggio paintings. Investing in paintings like this makes a difference in changing the whole feel of the room.

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