'The Taking of Christ' (Recreating Caravaggio)

Caravaggio painted this extraordinary work for the Roman Marquis Ciriaco Mattei in 1602. Offering a new visual approach to the biblical story, Caravaggio placed the figures close to the picture plane and used a strong light-and-dark contrast, giving the scene an extraordinary sense of drama.

'The Taking of Christ' by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 1602

'The Taking of Christ' by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 1602

It’s not unusual for photographers to be inspired by other types of art. As you may have noticed there is a great deal of Renaissance Italian influence in my portraiture.

Only the moon lights the scene. Although the man at the far right is holding a lantern, it is, in reality, an ineffective source of illumination. In that man’s features Caravaggio portrayed himself, aged 31, as an observer of events, a device he frequently used in his paintings.

David Bamber, Julian Bleach, Ciarán Hinds (Caravaggio Recreation) Rory Lewis Photographer 2019

David Bamber, Julian Bleach, Ciarán Hinds (Caravaggio Recreation) Rory Lewis Photographer 2019

The Taking of Christ is inspirational, I decided to recreate the work with three extraordinary actors, Judas (Ciarán Hinds) has identified Christ (Julian Bleach) with a kiss, as the temple guards move in to seize Him. The fleeing disciple in disarray on the left is St John the Evangelist (David Bamber). My recreation only identifies the three main characters, but I wanted to capture the quintessence of Caravaggio’s depiction.

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'The Taking of Christ' (Recreating Caravaggio)
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