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Living Paintings: 13 Caravaggio Works by Real-Life Actors | ARTLECTURE

Living Paintings: 13 Caravaggio Works by Real-Life Actors

/The Performance/
by VIDEO Simone Calcagni

VIEW 746

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio(1571~1610) was a pioneer of Baroque paintings that was active in Italy, centered on Rome, during the transition from the 16th to the 17th century.  It features bold and naturalistic character portrayals. First of all, he established a unique style characterized by the dramatic (sometimes theatrical) and intense contrast between light and shade. As a result, his followers, called Caravagasti, emerged from all over Europe. He also excelled at portraits and still life, and painted factual religious paintings.

The video was produced based on his paintings and, above all, vividly recreates his work. Ten years ago, under the direction of founder Ludovica Rambelli, eight members of the Italian company, Malatheatre, discovered firsthand the insanely rigorous poses Caravaggio demanded of his models, creating 23 tableaux vivants inspired by the master’s oeuvre.

The company sought less to reproduce the paintings than the scene Caravaggio would have gazed on from behind his easel.

The 13 stagings in the video above make one aware of the intense physicality evident in Caravaggio’s work.

Have a look at the video below, for some comparisons between the original paintings and the 13 tableaux vivants seen in the video:

The Entombment of Christ

Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy,

Crucifixion of Saint Peter

The Beheading of St John the Baptist

Judith Beheading Holofernes

Flagellation of Christ

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew


Rest on the Flight into Egypt


The Raising of Lazarus

Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy


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