A boy with a basket of fruit by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

A boy with a basket of fruit by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

“A boy with a basket of fruit” is the first picture of Caravaggio, and she fully demonstrates the unique handwriting of the artist and his ability to create realistic images.

The painting depicts a young man whose features are clearly similar to the appearance of models depicted in the paintings Lutnist, Bacchus, The Boy Bitten by a Lizard, etc. This young man even looks a bit like a girl: he looks effeminate and effeminate. According to the generally accepted version, the painting depicts the partner of the artist named Mario Minniti.

The young man is incredibly handsome. It is possible that Caravaggio himself was not indifferent to him. Especially if one takes into account the fact that he was connected by close relations with the sitter depicted in some of his other paintings: “Cupid-winner”, “St. John the Baptist”, etc.

In his work, Caravaggio actively uses the sharp contrast of light and shadow, and in this picture he also demonstrates his skills. The contact and confrontation of the light and dark creates a special color, saturates the image with passion, creates tension. For example, an exciting shadow is cast into the eyes, beautifully traced on the boy’s neck.

Realism is one of the main characteristics of almost all the paintings of the artist. An unprecedented impression was made, for example, by the painting “The Assumption of Mary”, in which he first showed the holy virgin Mary an absolutely simple man in an entirely normal situation and with unsuitable for holy emotions and pose. The artist’s adherence to realism is indicated by the dried leaves and small dark spots on the fruits depicted in the picture “A Boy with a Basket of Fruits”.

It is difficult to say that the picture is more important: the figure of a young man or a basket of fruit. With a dark background, the artist, as if emphasizing the importance of a fruit basket, drawn unusually carefully. Even the grapes reflect light directed at the model on the left side.

This portrait clearly reflects the image that Caravaggio most often used in his work in the first years of his work: a languorous youth interacting with fruit, which in other works could be replaced by other subjects, for example, a musical instrument. Lyrical mood and light color, combined with sharply contrasting darkness, prevail in his works. Sensuality is an integral part of the images of Caravaggio.

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