Santa Maria del Popolo : Cerasi Chapel (Rome, Italy) : Painting on the right wall "Conversion of St. Paul" (by Caravaggio, 1600-01), the upper portion of the canvas, side view
Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da, 1571-1610 Carracci, Annibale, 1560-1609
Rome, Lazio, Italy ca. 1600-1601
10/18/1998 1500 AD - 1699 AD
fresco marble oil on canvas stucco
The radical transformation of Annibale's style since he came to Rome could not be appreciated fully until his altarpiece of the Assumption of the Virgin for the Cerasi Chapel in S Maria del Popolo was unveiled early in 1601 (in situ). Despite the panel's relatively modest size, it has an overpowering impact. Supported by angels, the Virgin erupts from the empty tomb around which the apostles crowd, compressed together in the immediate foreground. Forms are simplified, and the almost geometrical solidity of the figures is intensified by the bright colours and sharp focus typical of panel painting. A staccato tempo of abrupt gestures, sudden twists and turns and unexpected juxtapositions forcefully communicates the picture's dramatic content, replacing the gentler, lyrical rhythms of the Pietà or the Farnese ceiling. The fact that the Assumption was to be flanked by two paintings by Caravaggio no doubt contributed to its extremist position. Faced with the challenge posed by Caravaggio's anti-idealist style, Annibale took the opposite course. His altarpiece polemicizes Caravaggio's non-selective naturalism, countering it with a conception of religious painting in which sacred figures of idealized perfection are depicted with the greatest possible verisimilitude; a conception that, moreover, had the full authority of tradition behind it.
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
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New Testament; saints; Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint; Peter, the Apostle, Saint intarsia; oil painting (technique) visual works; paintings (visual works)
Archivision Module One
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC Archivision, Inc. 10/18/1998
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
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