Sunday, June 05, 2005

Regarding Today's Gospel...

...the Calling of Levi
One of the amazing things about this city is the fact that one can walk into a church and find a sidechapel containing 3 Caravaggios.

Now, I quite like Caravaggio but this one isn't actually one of my favourites. However, there are a few points which are worth noting. Firstly, the lighting is used to great theological effect. It comes from, or rather from above, Christ and shines on Matthew who is at that moment responding (albeit incredulously) to Christ's call. Note too that the same light falls on some of his colleagues who remain blindly indifferent to anything other than the money on the table. Secondly, there are the fingers - I'm not quite sure what to make of Christ's hand. He doesn't seem to be either beckoning or pointing. Is it meant to be a reference to Adam's hand on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Peter seems a bit more decisive - pointing at Matthew in confirmation, or perhaps in confusion. Matthew's gesture is by far the easiest to read. He points to himself boldly with a questioning look in his eyes asking if he is really the one being called.

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