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okay a really wonderful Caravaggio this is a painting of the calling of Saint Matthew in san luigi different shades in Rome in the country a chapel that's right in the larger Church and it's in a chapel with two other paintings by Caravaggio all about Matthew so Matthew is one of Christ's disciples and so which one is he here hello hard to find him here showing it's another it's a complicated figures very complicated I love the subject Christ is walking in right which one is Christ they're two years old yeah I think Saint Peter is in front of Christ on the right he's the sort of heavy powerful rough looking guy yeah with the short cropped hair and behind him half obscured is facing us is Christ with his arm out stretch he looks much more noble younger more delicate actually and there's a kind of delicacy to his gestures that remove him I think from the regular world that the other figures seem to occupy us he seems to point Dover and Matthews the one who is pointing to himself and disbelief he's the older finger with a large beard black hat yes and a dark tunic and I think if I remember correctly the story is that Matthew was a tax collector and he's sitting with his fellow tax collectors Christ walks in and sees Matthew and basically says you come with me and there's this moment of conversion this is this incredible moment of spiritual awakening right which is a very typical subject in Baroque art so this notion of transformation at this moment that Christ says hey you you're coming with me Matthew points to self me can't possibly mean me right I'm a tax collector there's all kinds of negative implications it's not just that he's working for the IRS for instance right he's a little bit more shady he's not sure I mean look at the environment directly this is so important for Caravaggio he's not showing Christ in heaven he's not showing Christ in an elevated plasticized environment he's in this what looks like the back room of a tavern bar and when we look at it it looks like he's surrounded by young men who are counting money yeah they're leaning over sort of greedily the figure especially on the left kind of thing money and they're armed they've got swords they're dressed in very fancy clothes yeah you third imagine one of them ripping out their swords and he's hacking and getting into a barroom brawl on them that's right but there's this real sense that this money has not gotten illegally I mean imagine if you walked into a bar now and you walked into the backroom and they were very overly dressed ostentatiously dressed young men with guns counting money would that be an environment you would want to be in that's what makes this moment all the more wonderful but how potent this must have been when his painting is made in 1599 1600 when Christ is being shown in really this much more contemporary environment and all of this has made real very real figures are so removed from the idealized beauty of the high Renaissance he must have been challenging a little scary but really exciting Caravaggio brings spiritual down to everyday level that we can all totally relate to instead of that distance that was there in the high Renaissance which is really interesting in if you think that you know these are paintings in Rome with all the pomp and ceremony of Rome and Caravaggio is giving such a fresh it's really fabulous and the thing that I would think about with this painting when I try to relate it to living in the 21st century I imagine sometimes my own version of a greedy moment maybe it's the holidays and I'm supposed to be shopping for friends and family and instead of buying something for myself and I'm getting my credit card out try to imagine right walking in a door a banana republic I thank you I've chosen out of context look at the way that Caravaggio is handling light here because it's not just Christ walking in he is in the embodiment of a kind of spiritual force in that as he points to Matthew and you're I can go from his glance across his hand to Matthews finger following that diagonal of the sunlight which seems to be pouring in maybe a doorway that they've opened who knows why and it's as though that point of price almost their senses piercing ray to Matthew this gets to him but also in a way interrupts this moment of reality in the tavern so that he started suspended between this moment of calling and transformation and conversion but also this is so immersed in his reality it's of course that's also a very baroque characteristic of this hot extreme moment of time and also what's very baroque about it that I really appreciate it this way that the divine has entered everyday life at me Steve actually was Saint Teresa and so many other baroque paintings in a sense the baroque is taking these intensely spiritual forms that have come out of the Renaissance maintaining the high naturalism and really building on high naturalism of the Renaissance but putting it in an environment where as you said earlier it is completely accessible and very very real and immediate I know on this little tomato sometimes even not just real and me but almost pedestrian and dirty yes I mean if you look at the bare feet of Peter the Christ this isn't a greedy about Caravaggio look at the window it seems as if those eggs have been covered so is not to let right in what the walls look dirty and grimy this is not an ideal environment at all well I have one thing that's always I thought very curious if you look at Christ's hand there's a lot of attention that's compositionally on that hand right under the cross of the window and that slight Bend of the wrist it is the hand that Michelangelo had painted button of Adam and here in an interesting kind of reversal and there has been a tradition of course of seeing Christ as the second Adam that's right Adam because of the fall of mankind and price he redeemed mankind and so in a sense bookends on this story and this moment of redemption personal redemption for Matthew just as as Adam was created in a sense Matthew was recreated you
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