By Maurice Tuchman
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Extra resources for Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties (Catalog of Exhibition)
Such a trip was quite likely because he would have found confirmation for his candlelit scenes in the artist he most admired (A trip to Naples was first suggested by G. J. Hoogewerff, op. , 1917, p. 40). However, the torch as a means of lighting could have been known to him through the works of artists other than Caravaggio. A possible Italian source for the torch as a method ofillumination is Antonio Campi's Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist, Church of San Paolo, Milan, of 1581 (For an illustration see W.
The candlelight serves the same purpose as in the previous painting. Since the strength of Bassano's light upon an object diminishes directly in proportion to the distance of the object from the candle, Honthorst's lighting in the London painting is more akin to Bassano's in this respect than to Caravaggio's. This fact, as well as the use of the candle and the realistic figure types, are enough to indicate that Honthorst probably studied the Bassani, even though, as in the case of the Christ Crowned with Thorns, Jacopo's color range, compositional structure and treatment of drapery are very different from Honthorst's.
Caravaggio's light maintains the same strength regardless ofwhere it falls, whereas in Honthorst, the light gradually loses its power as it moves away from its source. Caravaggio used this method to dramatize his religious content by accentuating with light, the gestures and facial expressions ofthe principal figures in the scene. Honthorst does the same thing but fails to achieve as strong a religiosity because his source of illumination is clearly indicated, whereas Caravaggio's mystical quality is far stronger because there is no visible source for his light.
Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties (Catalog of Exhibition) by Maurice Tuchman