Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

The Calling of Saint Matthew

oil on canvas (322 × 340 cm) — 1599-1600 Museum San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome

Caravaggio biography

This work is linked to Matthew 9:9

Tags: Matthew

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Please note the extraordinary use of light. Jesus (extreme right) calls upon Matthew (behind the table in the middle) to join him. Matthew, then Levi, is a publican, collecting taxes for the Romans, by no means a popular profession. Everyone is astonished. There is light on Levi's face. Jesus' finger is reminiscent of Michelangelo's spark of life for Adam in the Sistine Chapel.

On the right, in front of Jesus – Peter.

The painting was commissioned together with The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, which hangs opposite. Between them, on the altar, is The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602).

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