Talk:The Taking of Christ (Caravaggio)
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I take exception to the "Interpretation" here. It is full of spelling errors, half-sentences, and is often "just plain wrong". How, for example, could anyone say "in his eyes their (sic) is disbelief" or "he did not anticipate what Judas was doing", when Christ foretold the betrayal of Judas in all four gospels? (John 6:71-72, Matt 26:23-25, Mark 14:18-21, Luke 22:21-24) Personally, I wouldn't start ascribing emotions to Christ in this painting at all (let the observer see what he may), but if one wants to do that kind of thing, "disappointment" is almost certainly a better fit. By all means, point out the bona-fide symbolism (if it's there), but don't start making it up.
By any standard, this painting kicks ass. The technical execution in nothing short of superb: the musculature on the back of the soldier's hand; the reflections on the armour; or the furrowed faces of Christ and Judas are good examples. By way of comparison, a somewhat similar suit of armour can be seen in Garrett Morphy's portrait of Viscount Molyneux (downstairs in the same gallery), but it is plainly mediocre in comparison to the Carravaggio. The Taking of Christ is "just right": you can't pick out a bit that "looks wrong" in the way that you can with so many other paintings.
This painting is important because, when it was painted, it was radically different to the previous portrayals, not just of the beytrayal of Christ but of the Gospel stories generally. One of Carravaggio's contemporaries would almost certainly have painted the scene with the figures full-length, in full light, with surrounding scenery depicting Gethsemane. The three-quarter length figures, in darkness, and with no real indication of place was dark, edgy, ground-breaking stuff in 1602.
I don't know enough about this stuff to take it upon myself to do the deletion/rewrite but, IMVHO, the current "Interpretation" should go.
--EmmetCaulfield 16:34, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Another autograph version
Another autograph version of the canvas is housed in Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Ukraine. http://www.oweamuseum.odessa.ua http://www.oweamuseum.odessa.ua/painting/p-italian/file/m001.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 12:36, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
The figure fleeing on the left and Christ are portrayed by Caravaggio as though they are two sides of a single Janus-like figure. Thus we could interpret this two-faced figure as a representation of Christ's two natures, the divine and the human. Christ the god is calm and unconcerned, whereas Christ the man is terrified and fleeing for his life. I don't have any references for this interpretation, so I'll leave it here until someone finds one. Eroica (talk) 14:27, 16 August 2009 (UTC)