Caravaggio - John the Baptist 1604

Caravaggio - Crowning with Thorns 1603 Caravaggio - Entombment 1603 Caravaggio - Holy Family with St. John the Baptist 1603 Caravaggio - John the Baptist 1604 Caravaggio - Madonna of Loreto 1604 Caravaggio - Christ on the Mount of Olives 1605 Caravaggio - David with the Head of Goliath 1605
Caravaggio - John the Baptist 1604

John the Baptist 1604
173x133cm oil/canvas
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, USA
The image is only being used for informational and educational purposes

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
1604 Caravaggio was commissioned to paint a John the Baptist for the papal banker and art patron Ottavio Costa, who already owned the artist's Judith Beheading Holofernes and Martha and Mary Magdalene. Costa intended it for an altarpiece for a small oratory in the Costa fiefdom of Conscente (a village near Albenga, on the Italian Riviera), but liked it so much that he sent a copy to the oratory and kept the original in his own collection. It is now in the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.
Stark contrasts of light and dark accentuate the perception that the figure leans forward, out of the deep shadows of the background and into the lighter realm of the viewer's own space...The brooding melancholy of the Nelson-Atkins Baptist has attracted the attention of almost every commentator. It seems, indeed, as if Caravaggio instilled in this image an element of the essential pessimism of the Baptist's preaching, of the senseless tragedy of his early martyrdom, and perhaps even some measure of the artist's own troubled psyche. The saint's gravity is at least partly explained, too, by the painting's function as the focal point of the meeting place of a confraternity whose mission was to care for the sick and dying and to bury the corpses of plague victims.