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Hommage to the Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio – 05-12-20

Learning Material

In my classes I often use ‘The Entombment of Christ’ by Caravaggio to demonstrate how artists normally distribute space. Next to this, in my eyes a great artist is one who lets the composition reflect the idea the main theme has to to convey. In this particular case I do not want to discuss the religious merits but on the formal compositional aspects of this art work. Throughout the oil painting some kind of staircase figure emerges, cascading from the lower left corner up to upper right one.

Staircase Body

Of course this composition attributes to the religious message but also in worldly themes this type of composition can do wonders. I had this idea to have my regular model pose in such a way. Hence, this drawing that reflects a great idea by the old master. Not his own, of course but all great paintings stand on the shoulders of others. With regard to this drawing I have to admit I also was inspired by the motif I used for my graphite pencil drawing ‘Roundism 15-11-20’. The slanted body position with the erected arm must have triggered something in my brain that reminded itself to Caravaggio’s painting. The model was posing in my chair that I needed to have her rest her leg on the armrest in order to get to the staircase figure.

Other Inspirational Sources

The flatscreen t.v. on her left side I decided to keep in because it reminded me to another great master Malevich with his black square paintings. Besides that, its sharp features contrasts the round body shapes nicely. My oil ‘Frida Kahlo (2020)’ that is partially visible above her head reminded me to one of Mondriaan’s paintings ‘Composition with big red plain, yellow, black, grey and blue’. He experimented with cubistic plains of course and one of the charming tricks he pulled was to depict plains that seem to run off canvas, not fully enclosed by it. It makes the drawing appear to be bigger than it actually is.

More that Meets the Eye

Finally I want to reveal that my drawing is religious or spiritual too and perhaps an attentive viewer can see the relation between singularity and Caravaggio cascade to heaven. I am not willing to explain it all though.

Graphite pencil drawing (Sakura 0.5 mm, Pentel 4B) on Talens Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm) – A4 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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