Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Caravaggio's Famous Paintings on St. Matthew

Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew the Evangelist.

He was one of the Twelve Apostles.

For you visual learners, here are two famous paintings on St. Matthew completed by Caravaggio between 1599-1600:

The Calling of Saint Matthew
A key point in the painting is Matthew's personal encounter with Jesus as seen in the light that shines on Matthew.  For more information, click HERE.

The second visual for today is The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, also completed between 1599-1600:

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew
A key point for the painting is that it seems, at first glance, to focus on Matthew's half-naked murderer.  Evil seems to take center stage.  However, the real central point of the painting is Matthew, not the murderer.  Matthew seems to resist his murderer with his right hand but a deeper look reveals that it is really a transformation of his resistance to acceptance of the palm of martyrdom, which the angel above places in the same right hand.

When the Twelve Apostles were dispersed throughout the world, it is said that Matthew was sent to either Ethiopia or Iran.

For more information on the Dispersion of the Apostles, click HERE.

St. Matthew, pray for us!

HW: Read the Gospel of Matthew.

Class dismissed.

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