A obra mais importante do pintor Caravaggio foi produzida em Malta. Confira!

"Decapitação de S. João Batista", pode ser vista no Oratório da Co-Catedral de S. João, em Valletta.

O artista mais famoso a trabalhar em Malta foi, sem dúvida, Michelangelo Merisi (1571-1610), conhecido como Caravaggio. A sua obra “Decapitação de S. João Batista”, pode ser vista no Oratório da Co-Catedral de S. João, em Valletta.

Referida como “a pintura do século XVII”, a obra foi encomendada para o Oratório da Co-Catedral de S. João, onde ainda permanece exposta. A catedral conta com outro dos seus trabalhos mais famosos, uma pintura onde está representado São Jerónimo.

Em conjunto, estas obras representam um período essencial no desenvolvimento deste artista pouco ortodoxo. O seu estilo, marcado pelo intenso contraste entre sombra e luz (chiaroscuro), criou quase que um drama coreografado sobre o tema; uma técnica que veio quebrar a tradição da pintura religiosa.

A história de Caravaggio em Malta é tão misteriosa como o resto da sua biografia. O artista era conhecido como o enfant terrible da pintura barroca italiana e consta que que foi recebido pelos Cavaleiros de São João depois de ter conseguido escapar de Itália, onde tinha sido acusado de homicídio. Refugiou-se em Malta cerca de um ano, onde a sua primeira obra foi o retrato de um cavaleiro da Ordem de São João, chamado Alof de Wignacourt, através da técnica de óleo sobre tela. Atualmente, a pintura pode ser visitada no Museu do Louvre, em Paris.

Apesar do seu passado duvidoso, já aos serviços dos seus novos mecenas, é aclamado e admitido na Ordem de S. João, em reconhecimento do seu trabalho. Além disso, o Grão-mestre condecorou-o com uma corrente de outro e outras honrarias, além de colocar à sua disposição dois escravos turcos.

No entanto, sua liberdade durou pouco, já que quando o mestre italiano estava no auge da sua popularidade em Malta, foi feito prisioneiro no Forte de St. Angelo, do qual, posteriormente, conseguiu escapar e fugir do país, fazendo com que fosse destituído de todas as honrarias e excluído da Ordem. Isto fez de Caravaggio, uma vez mais, um fugitivo e permitiu que Malta ficasse detentora das obras que este deixou em Valletta e que hoje são uma das principais atrações artísticas e culturais do arquipélago.

Medindo 361×520 cm, A Decapitação de S. João Baptista é o maior e mais importante marco da sua carreira. Caravaggio situa a cena numa grande masmorra, dando-lhe uma composição clássica e um equilíbrio, que era invulgar nas suas obras. Não faltam os populares habituais para representar as personagens: uma jovem, uma velha, um homem nobre e o carrasco. À direita, duas testemunhas contemplam a cena a partir de uma janela, um recurso que permite ao espectador ser representado no quadro. São os pormenores que sublimam esta obra. Por exemplo, no sangue derramado da garganta de São João Batista pode ser lido f Michel, sendo esta a única assinatura do artista num quadro: o seu nome era Michelangelo Meris de Caragavaggio; o f é interpretado como fecit (isto é, feito por).

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