Caravaggio - The Lute Player 1596

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Caravaggio - The Lute Player 1596

The Lute Player 1596
100x126cm oil/canvas
Private Collection. Wildenstein Collection
The image is only being used for informational and educational purposes

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Lute Player is a composition by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It exists in three versions, one in the Wildenstein Collection, another in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and a third from Badminton House, Gloucestershire, which came to light in 2007.
All three versions demonstrate the innovative approach to light that Caravaggio adopted at this time. Caravaggio's method, as described by Caravaggio's contemporary Giulio Mancini, was to use "a strong light from above with a single window and the walls painted black, so that having the lights bright and the shadows dark, it gives depth to the painting, but with a method that is not natural nor done or thought of by any other century or older painters like Raphael, Titian, Correggio and others." The room itself seems to be the same as that in the Contarelli Chapel Calling of Saint Matthew, and the beam of light across the rear wall has an upper limit that would appear to be the shutter of the window above the table in the Calling. The carafe is a "cut-and-paste" motif from another image, where the main light came from a window at more or less the same level as the carafe itself. Such a complex illustration of refracted light is unprecedented in the Cinquecento, and must be the result of collaboration with scientists in Del Monte’s circle. These included Galileo Galilei, but more notably Giovanni Battista della Porta, revered as the seer of scientific curiosity at the turn of the century, who was the guiding spirit behind the foundation in 1603 of the Accademia dei Lincei. His multi-volume De Refractione Optices (1593) was particularly concerned with optical matters, the second volume being devoted entirely to the incidence of light on water-filled and glass spheres. The circle of Della Porta was significant for Caravaggio later on in Naples, where the commission for the Seven Acts of Mercy seems to have emanated from Giovanni Batista Manso, Marchese di Villa, whose friend, the alchemist Colantonio Stigliola, was a member of the Accademia dei Lincei.