Narcissus by Caravaggio was created in 1598. The painting is in Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome. The size of the work is 113,3 x 94 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.
The classical myth of Narcissus had been frequently represented since antiquity, but the version by Caravaggio is distinguished by its unusual compositional scheme, conceived rather like a playing card: the lower half is a mirror image of the upper, as if the painter had turned the upper part of the canvas through 180 degrees to obtain the figure’s reflected image. The composition is appropriate to the story of the young hunter who fell in love with his own image mirrored in the water. (Read more in Palazzo Barberini)
About the Artist: Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born in Milan. During the final four years of his life he moved between Naples, Malta, and Sicily until his death. His paintings have been characterized by art critics as combining a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism… Read more