Caravaggio In Context by John F. Moffitt
Learned Naturalism And Renaissance Humanism

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Italian painter Caravaggio was recognized by his contemporaries as a dedicated practitioner of il naturalismo and a learned painter. His use of the chiaroscuro technique was skilled and his subject matter, still lifes and genre paintings, was unique. Through detailed analysis of works from Caravaggio's early Roman period, 1594-1602, this study places his art in a humanistic context, making it an expression of "learned naturalism," a procedure committed to a close study of the phenomenal world and corresponding to contemporary ventures into empirical science. The work grounds Caravaggio's artistic techniques in cultural context and situates his subject matter within the interest of his patrons, influential Romans whose tastes reflected current Renaissance interests in humanistic studies, emblematic literature, and classical lore. The end result is to show an artist who was thoroughly grounded in the humanist milieu of his erudite patrons. Sources include writings addressing art's instructive purposes and the classical literary sources commonly manipulated in Caravaggio's time. The work is illustrated with Caravaggio's works as well as related images.

About John F. Moffitt

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The late John F. Moffitt authored, edited or translated numerous books about art history. He was an art history professor at New Mexico State University.
Published October 15, 2004 by Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub. 268 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction