Caravaggio’s oil painting technique

Caravaggio’s oil painting technique

Caravaggio’s painting technique:

 caravaggios-oil-painting-technique

Using all of the technical and art historical information we now have on the paintings that can be firmly attributed to Caravaggio we can summarize his technical practices as follows:

1) Preference for using a linen canvas support mounted on a wooden strainer.

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2) Preference for dark red-brown ground, often left visible, and used as mid-tones.

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3) Use of dramatic, single-source lighting.

4) Use of incisions done free-hand in the still moist ground to establish the composition and fix the pose of his models.

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5) Did not use preliminary sketches but began by loosely drawing the outline of forms in dark paint and locating major highlights in lead white (abozzo).

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6) Used limited palette, primarily earth colors, ground in walnut oil.

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