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The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Listed under Paintings in Malta.

  • Photo of The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
  • Photo of The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
  • Photo of The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Photo of The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
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Conceived to be displayed in the Co-Cathedral of St. John, this is considered by many to be Caravaggio’s greatest masterpiece. Completed in 1608 it depicts John at the moment of his martyrdom, the executioner holding the head and another man finishing the beheading. It’s the composition of the work as much as Caravaggio’s use of illuminating colours and lighting that make this work great – the arrangement of the figures to the left allows the backdrop to reveal the austerity of the prison in the background with the two silent witnesses looking though the bars acting to draw the viewer into the action.

This is also Caravaggio’s largest work – 361cm x 520cm – and the only one that he signed, in the blood he shows oozing from St. John’s neck.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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