John the Baptist by Caravaggio

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John the Baptist by Caravaggio

The artist Caravaggio is one of my favorite painters—certainly, my favorite of the baroque movement. Caravaggio used deep darks in contrast with bright highlights. This use of lighting makes his paintings very dramatic.

I’ve only seen a painting by Caravaggio in person once. It’s one of the many images he painted of John the Baptist. It was a the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO. Seeing it in person made a huge difference from seeing it in art history books and online. I remember being fascinated by the subject’s knee. I could actually see swirls of the paint—the artist’s brushstrokes. It was wonderful to see all the colors that photographs can’t reproduce. And the scale of it made an impression. The canvas is over six feet tall.

This painting is probably my favorite I’ve ever seen. I’m ready to visit again. What paintings inspire you?

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