Caravaggio exhibition gives fresh insight into painter's technique





A new exhibition of Caravaggio's work has opened in a Roman church giving give fresh insight to the painter's technique.

The exhibition, in Rome's Palazzo Venezia, focuses on three great Caravaggio works – the Martyrdom of St. Matthew, the Calling of St. Matthew and St. Matthew and the Angel.

It supports a theory first put forward by the British artist David Hockney that the Renaissance artist used a primitive form of photography to create his paintings.

Hockney suggested in a book published in 2001, "Secret Knowledge", that many old masters used darkroom techniques and optical instruments to compose their paintings.

The exhibition includes diagrams, mirrors and light boxes to show that Caravaggio may indeed have used a "camera obscura" – an optical device in which light passes through a pinprick, illuminating a subject, and projecting an image onto a canvas.

His suspected use of the technique – 200 years before the invention of the camera – could explain the extraordinary realism of many of his paintings, scholars believe....



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