By Felix Witting
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Far from deifying the scene, he restores the simple humanity of the protagonists, including that of the Virgin and Child, thanks to his work on the shadows. In their work on lighting effects according to Caravaggio’s style, the Spanish School of the seicento went even further in terms of the thickness of the application of the pigments, in order to create a sense of vibrating energy in the painting as a whole, which in all likelihood related to the shimmering light of southern Spain. Spagnoletto’s Drunken Silenus from the year 1626 in the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples reveals that he was still greatly influenced by Caravaggio’s work69.
Oil on canvas, 322 x 340 cm. San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. 52 two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but such a version has not been found amongst his surviving works. We do, however, have three versions depicting the moment when Christ makes himself known to the disciples in Emmaus. qxp 12/9/2011 2:48 PM Page 55 painting which portrays this scene, found in the National Gallery in London was, according to information from the catalogue, created for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and may in all likelihood be regarded as the original54.
The angel, who holds the hand of the bending Evangelist in a slightly affected manner, is very close in style to the shepherd boy from the Capitolinian Collection, and the Cupid of the two allegories of love. qxp 12/9/2011 2:47 PM Page 48 Egypt (pp. 28-29) in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome shows, achieving the rigorous strength of his teacher51. Caravaggio’s attempt to depict the messenger from heaven in a more adult, and at the same time more human, way than art had done so far cannot go unnoticed.