Caravaggio Saint Matthew, The
The Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science, Evansville, Indiana. Accession Number 2000.005.0001
| Image Notes
Caravaggio's three Saint Matthew paintings in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.
| Artist's Notes
Red, yellow, and blue, The Caravaggio Saint Matthew is a baroque theatrical riff on three paintings by Caravaggio (1571-1610) in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. In them Caravaggio depicts three episodes in the story of Saint Matthew: the calling of Matthew by Christ to become a disciple, Matthew writing his Gospel of Christ's life and teachings, and the saint's martyrdom. I have quoted Caravaggio's paintings in their entirety at the bottom of my painting as color-coded footnotes to my composition. The fourth footnote painting shows the facade of the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. (George Deem)
The Caravaggio Saint Matthew is a baroque theatrical painting in which I quote three paintings by Caravaggio in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. Caravaggio's three paintings depict three episodes from the life of Saint Matthew which I use as three focuses in my painting. In the red foreground, I place the earliest episode, the scene of Christ's Calling of Saint Matthew to become his disciple, which I have staged on a checked marble floor. Above and to the left of this group, in yellow, I have painted the foreshortened figure of Saint Matthew engaged in writing his Gospel. The foreshortening makes the figure appear as if it were a fresco painted on the flat wall. The angel hovers three-dimensionally in the air above the group of men seated at the table and therefore like them is painted red, not yellow. My blue architectural image depicts the actual interior of the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. There, in the distance, at the site of the altar, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew takes place.
In the four scenes at the bottom of my painting, up against the picture plane, I quote Caravaggio's three paintings in their entirety and color coded to my use of his imagery, and I have painted a view of the facade of the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi as it appears today. From left to right, the four scenes are:
Caravaggio's The Calling of Saint Matthew
Caravaggio's Saint Matthew and the Angel
Caravaggio's The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew
The facade of the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi
George Deem, New York, April 26th, 2000.
Sneed Gallery, Rockford, Illinois
Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, Indiana
Broadcast Center Building, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts