Caravaggio - The Death of the Virgin 1601-1605

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Caravaggio - The Death of the Virgin 1601-1605

The Death of the Virgin 1601-1605
369x245cm oil/canvas
Louvre, Paris, France
The image is only being used for informational and educational purposes

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From Louvre, Paris:
Commissioned in 1601 for the church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome, this painting could not have been finished before 1605-1606. After being refused by the monks, who found it unworthy of the church, it was replaced by a work on the same subject painted by Carlo Saraceni.
The composition is arranged around the Virgin, the painting's central theme. The compact mass of the assemblage and the posturing of the figures guide the viewer's eye toward the abandoned body. The theatrical drape of blood-red cloth heightens the scene's dramatic effect. The painter makes use of the nuances of light and shadow to model the volumes of the objects, figures, and clothing. But above all he accentuates, through this process, the physical presence of the Virgin, struck by a dazzling light. The artist creates the illusion of depth through a series of lighter areas: from the back of Mary Magdalene's neck in the foreground, the eye penetrates further into the painting, passing from Mary's face to the hands and heads of the apostles.