Artibus et Historiae no. 31 (XVI)

1995, ISSN 0391-9064

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JANIS C. BELL - Light and Color in Caravaggio's Supper et Emmaus

In a detailed analysis of the illusion of light in Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus, the author proposes that Caravaggio's innovations as a colorist go beyond the popularization of tenebrism. Rather, he discovered a way of managing colors that eschewed the Renaissance practices of tonal unity and continuous modeling, instead setting up juxtapositions of colors to enhance the appearance of saturation and brightness and employing discontinuous modeling to enhance the perception of contrast and unity. His approach is compared to earlier Renaissance paintings by Raphael and Leonardo, and to several works of his contemporary reformer of coloring, Annibale Carraci.

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