Caravaggio and the Art of Subversion

Several days before leaving Rome for Puglia for the holidays, I was kindly asked by my brother-in-law, Dr. Francesco Lippolis, to give a lecture on Caravaggio to members of his cultural association, Lunedì Letterario.

The timing of his invitation could not have been better: I had just completed weeks before a Keynote presentation for my Art of Rome class that featured Caravaggio’s Conversion of Saul on the Road to Damascus as the subject for an explanation of formal analysis.  I translated that presentation into Italian and expanded it to include The Calling of St. Matthew.

The essence of the lecture focused on how a formal analysis can lead to an interpretation of a painting that is different from the implied narrative, an interpretation that can even go far enough to subvert the narrative and accompanying dogma.

If you would like to read some detailed examples of my ideas regarding formal analysis, please see the following essays on my blog:

Below is a very short video clip and some picture from the lecture held at Petra in Noci, Puglia on December 23rd, 2019.

My sincere thanks to Dr. Lippolis, Lunedì Letterario, and all who attended the lecture.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.