By Felix Witting
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90) in the Vatican. The pale greenish tone that permeates the painting clearly highlights Caravaggio’s light from above, and removes all familiar warmth from the colours and complexion. This was probably the excuse for the church authorities of San Pietro in Vaticano to have the painting removed from the altar. It was probably the reason why the Roman Curia of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican removed the work from the altar. Baglione reports that following this decision, the work was offered to Cardinal Scipione Borghese as a present, and it went from the Cardinal’s possession to the Borghese Gallery.
Oil on canvas, 94 x 119 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. qxp 12/9/2011 2:50 PM Page 63 Condemned to Exile Naples The impact of Angicourt’s Gothic Naples was to be of far-reaching importance for Caravaggio’s art68. The varying styles of northern France that were manifest in this sunny city made an unusual impression on the artist, reflected in the works he created there after his departure from Rome. The abundance of luminous tones in the Gothic cathedrals, set against the light, calm shade of the background, is expressed in his paintings through a colouring more ornate than he ever strove for in Rome.
Ceiling painted in oil, 300 x 180 cm. Casino Boncompagni Ludovisi, Rome. qxp 12/9/2011 2:47 PM Page 52 subversive attitude towards the religious institutions which then dominated the eternal city were already perceptible. During the Counter-Reformation, Pope Clement VIII, taken by a violent desire for order and repression, decided to “clean” the streets of Rome and undertook a series of measures against street gatherings, gaming, the carrying of weapons and prostitution. It was precisely during this period that Caravaggio painted the “profane” works which brought him renown and which he populated with people he had met in the streets.