Studies of Caravaggio

Some recent studies of the artwork of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Caravaggio sketch 040125 1

Detail from Judith beheading Holofernes, 1598. The woman was Caravaggio’s favourite model Filli di Melandroni. What hit me was her richness in expression; it seems like she wants to express hate, but what comes out is rather hesitation, disgust and almost surprise or curiosity. Note the slight highlight indicating her jawbone.

Caravaggio sketch 040125 2

Detail from Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1598. Same model. In this painting she is just overly angelic. Melandroni must have had one of those faces that at all time seem to be just about to tell you something, but never does. Living, but silent. The almost straight angle between her neck and left shoulder, the little pucker separating them, the shadows cast by her chin and nose.

Caravaggio sketch 040410 1

Detail from The Crucifixion of Saint Peter, 1600-1601. I was fascinated by the voluminousness of the old man’s body, the sharp shades of light on his belly and the distinctness of the lines in the fabric. He seems so strong.

Caravaggio sketch 040410 2

Detail from The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, 1601-1602. The absurdity of the little finger and the overall dance of the hand struck me.