Caravaggio 3 (afternoon)
3. Salome: the Regret of Revenge
Immediately Jesus had been recognised at The Supper at Emmaus, he disappeared. And not long after he painted it, Caravaggio was forced to flee Rome, having murdered a man under unexplained circumstances. For the rest of his life he moved from one place to another, getting into fight after fight, while his paintings gradually simplified. His life might have been complex, but as the master learnt what was needed to communicate, the range of colours decrease, the details are seen to be unnecessary, and the brush strokes relax. The mood becomes one of regret, and of longing for justice. In this last talk we will consider whether we should read his paintings through his life – or vice versa – or whether this is simply his skill at pinpointing the most arresting aspect of any narrative.