The Taking of Christ is beautifully explored in Part 3 of Reflections on Caravaggio
The third instalment of the BBC Radio's Caravaggio specials on The Essay take a closer look at two well known Caravaggio works, one of which as been in the news recently. This episode is presented by Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King's College London, and centres on the religious paintings The Taking of Christ and The Calling of St Matthew
I personally found it the most beautifully written of the Caravaggio 'Essays' presented to date. It is sometimes troublesome to read about depictions of divinity, particularly if the author is using the work to impart their own spiritual beliefs. I can gladly report that Mr Quash does no such thing, but still manages to imbue his description with the emotional wonder art lovers of any faith have when beholding Caravaggio.
The Calling of St Matthew takes the New Testament into a seedy Roman tavern, yet still manages to emanate a sense of solemnity and awe through Caravaggio's dramatic use of chiaroscuro (light and shadow)
You can listen to Mr Quash's presentation in the player below, or download as .mp3.
BBC Radio 3 - Reflections of Caravaggio Part 3/5