Old Masters Academy

Caravaggio’s Oil Painting Technique

Caravaggio’s Oil Painting Technique

Caravaggio’s Oil Painting Technique


Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio

Carravgio for the most part painted alla prima without any prepatory drawings or cartoons directly onto the canvas. The evidence for this is that over time the underpaintings have become more visable and show how he changed his mind and “searched” for him composition. He used a very limited pallet.

David Hockney’s theory on masters using primitive projectors, pointed to Caravaggio’s marks on the wall (in “Judith Beheading Holofernes”) as proof to this for some reason. Its important to know that Hockney is the “conspiracy nut” of the art world who sees logic where there is none and speaks absurdly. Other than that, I have not come across anything as to why there are scratches in the wall. My personal theory, is it was a mark for him. Doesnt matter if a mark is made with scratching a wall, graphite, or paint, a mark is the first step to getting artwork done. The next step is another mark, followed by another and another.

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