Piety and Humanity: The Last Years of Caravaggio

justine on my favourite subject – Caravaggio…

The Champagne Epicurean

As a Maltese man writing about Caravaggio I feel a sense of privileged connection that I am deprived with so many a great artist. Growing up I always remember Sunday visits to the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. A masterpiece which, even without its Caravaggios, ranks, personally, as one of the most awe-inspiring church in Christendom.

Within its oratory – designed by the Knights of St. John’s pet artist, Mattia Pteri to be a place for sombre reflection for novice knights confronting the very real possibility of martyrdom for the faith – lies slumbering, in the fitting murk, two luminous paintings by Caravaggio. One of which, the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, has two distinct honours: it is the largest canvas ever painted by Caravaggio and the only one that bears his signature.

And what a signature! Cast out of your mind any idea of a neat, formal signature at the…

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