View Full Version : Sacrificio di Isacco - Copy from Caravaggio

05-03-2011, 10:09 PM
I reproduced only Abraham's figure here.
I used the painting picture as a reference, but I copied the drawing outline without tracing and proceeded intuitively as well also for what concerns the palette definition, by mixing and blending directly on canvas, either our of the painting and on the painting, to then pick the appropriate tones. I
started from an initial palette similar enough to the one available to artists of those ancient times before I got the rest from mixing and blending.
The canvas, small enough size, was the essential one, as texture, I changed to white. I started with a dark brown painted layer I duplicated and painted on.
So it is, to some extent, a quite personal reproduction, not a photocopy, since I guessed and adjusted as I felt necessary.
What You see is the just a painted layer I took to a good enough finishing level I think.
I'll possibly amend, tweak it furtherly in the future on a larger size, try some effect and experiments with some glazes or else later on, but, if You agree, I deemed it finished for the moment ...

05-03-2011, 10:34 PM
Outstanding Cesare. I love the rich palette, and classic style.:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

05-03-2011, 10:57 PM
It is very beautiful. Isn't that supposed to be Abraham though? :)

05-04-2011, 12:14 AM
Fatastically real painting indeed.:)

05-04-2011, 12:27 AM
Thank You, dear Sandra! As strange as it may be, the palette is actually a quite limited one. It's only the unmatcheable talent of Caravaggio and his tonal and colors knowledge coming from the Girogione Venitian painting school that makes color seem rich. I guess ancient painters knew much more than we believe today, the complementary colors play, for instance and also color spots effects, even if they were restrained to paint according to styles and rules mostly decided by their customers.
After all, when the impressionist painting style came out, there were already examples of what complementary colors, synthetic strokes and color spots could powerfully produce, by masters such as Titien, Caravaggio, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Tiepolo and also the Macchiaioli painters and and those from a couple of Neapolitan schools in touch with Corot and present also in Barbizon with one of the Palizzi brothers and in Paris, the centre of art in the XIX century, like great De Nittis (who died pretty young though) and many others.

Dear Albert, Isaac was the one about to be sacrificed You don't see here, Abraham is the protagonist You see ... I would add the reference painting complete. The title means Sacrifice of Isaac, not Isaac's sacrifice (Isaac being the active subject). Thank You very much! :o:p

05-04-2011, 12:40 AM
Thank You dear Jasmine!
Actually I'm a lucky guy ideed, and the good news is that here in Rome and in Italy is that we have plenty of these top ranking paintings across the centuries all over Italy, also after Napoleon thefts, still many more than what You can find in Italian classical art sections in the most important world musei.
Here's the original painting anyway.
As You can see even on this unadequate picture, I didn't stick at all to it underneath for tracing and picking colors and, alas, I cannot compare, not even by far to Caravaggio's art, talent and mastery (actually probably only very few could).

05-04-2011, 12:51 AM
A beautiful paining indeed, Caesar, I like your palette much better than the original that you have shown here :)

05-04-2011, 01:11 AM
Dear Jean, Thank You!
Actually I know the real palette, i.e. how it looks like in reality. I just found another picture possibly useful to get a better idea. Obviously four centuries ago the oil colors should have looked much more brilliant and shining and the painting an absolute stunner, as it happened to all Caravaggio masterpieces, practically movies ratehr than paintings if You look at how all is built, composed, narrated and enlightened.

05-04-2011, 02:20 AM
Bravo Caesar!.... I applaud your excellent work in this reproduction of a true master! I think there is so much to be learned about painting in trying to reproduce such work, You are very lucky to have such a wealth of great paintings near you. You have done a remarkable job on this... very well done.. I don't know if you plan to do more but I hope so.:):):):):):):):cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::co ol:

05-04-2011, 02:56 AM
Beautiful Caesar... your are reaching into the new heights of your creativity. And i am rejoicing with you over the gorgeous work done. Applaus and deep bow....:)

05-04-2011, 04:52 AM
It's good anyway, I like it!!

05-04-2011, 08:13 PM
Thank You, dear Gxhpainter! Actually it didn't even take too much after all. Probably a total of 6-8 hours this far (not a speedy one I know), which means that a good guidance and a lucky, correct start, approach and process, at least in a genre You like and have some practice in, may really make the difference by motivating and charging You. To this purpose the greatest masters are really and by far the best ption to learn and copy from! You always keep some of their lessons with You, also unadvertently or unconsciously.

Thank You, dear Anna! When I'll try again which master should I look for? :rolleyes: I start considering Rubens. Apparently not really the most similar to my natural inclination as a style, but a really phantasmagoric painter and also familiar enough because style-wise he may be considered Italian to a large extent, since it's here he learned and refined much and he painted also portraits of what was probably among the most exclusive and rich nobility of his times, that of Genoa.

Thank you, dear Jibes! Actually not so much difficult with a masterful teacher like Caravaggio to follow ...;) I must say that ArtRage oils are a really good approximation of real ones and much more practical and a little easier to use.:)

P. D. Dinkles
05-04-2011, 08:48 PM

I was barely aware of Caravaggio in my art history course. Perhaps the professor did not understand his importance.

I "borrow" programs from the BBC often. I don't know why they can't share. There was a series about Caravaggio with Matthew Collings, (he is great). Now I understand how important he was to art in his time.

And you bring it back gloriously.

05-04-2011, 08:58 PM
you edited your post. :p :(

05-04-2011, 09:40 PM
Right, dear Dinkles! Glad You had the opportunity to learn about him.

Unfortunately most of people think Art History started with Impressionism after a little bunch of ancient, more or lesse boresome great masters of the past. As if that was the real and fundamental discontinuity, when everything was invented in painting.
Deeply wrong. There's no discovery impressionists made that wasn't made before, even with less reference to those days science.
The advanced and staed in writing and color theory came from Goethe, but all the rest, complementry colors, synthetic brushworks and strokes, spontaneous and fresh painting experiments comes from far before, Leonardo, Titien, Velasquez etc. As a matter of fact Goethe too has long been in Italy, where many the secrets of colors were the patrimony of the Venitian painting school in the centuries, just like the drawing knowledge of the Tuscanian one. The first form of impressionism occurred one or two decades before in Tuscany, with the Macchiaoli painters. Macchia means spot or stain, the method they used to apply colors.
Interactions of Neapolitan and Southern Italy painting schools with Corot set up anticipation of the Barbizon School and many of those painters and their successors went and were most successful in France.
So Art History teaching, and cultural trends and preferences, much depends on dominating countries phylosophy, ideology and nationalistic attitudes. Fortunately in my country our pride for an unmatcheable contribution on art (and much more) is not coupled with any chauvinistic sentiment and 'm in love with anything I love, Vermeer, Manet (Eduard), Turner, Hokusai Gaudý and so on, any artist who stunned and impressed me, also minor or minor defined ones in case.

Coming back to Michelangelo Merisi, called the Caravaggio, from the northern little town Caravaggio he came from, hw formally had no disciples in his quite restless life, but he got plenty of, both in the following couple of centuries on the lessons, paths and genres he opened.
For instance the immense Velasquez admired him as a youth and learned much more from him coming and watching his painting, when he came and stayed, in Naples, than from his own master Pacheco in Spain. Just look at his early works in that period.
All the Spanish painters like Zurbaran painting poor and miserable guys, painters like Guercino in Italy, enhancing colors on Caravaggio's unmatcheable painting by light later style and like many more others.
He was a stunning painter of fruits, objects etc. too, anything which could be painted, either tangible or not, like light.
In an age and place not asking for that genre at all, he put incredible ornaments made of still lives in his paintings.
He painted also the first and most wonderful still life ever, perfect as reality, even more in a way, but not as cold and meaningless copy of reality. Actually he painted there the essence of reality, with its imperfections and caducity, without recourse to the pedanting pixeling of some flemish painters of that age.
He didn't need to, so much beyond anyone else was his natural talent and grown skills.
If You look at his paintings, pespectives, gestures, colors and palette, lights, likelyhood and emotional involvement ... You would see the cinema five centuries before it was invented.
Why he was not placed to the numer one ranks in so many places? Who knows. Probably it happens to anyone so great and special, peculiar enough You don't know how to place in a scheme, understand or even use for Your personal views, just like clear facts, reality, lessons.
More specifically, in many places, religious subjects paintings are seen with some annoyance, worse if it has some sort of catholic flavour that is politically correct and meritorious to denigrate anyway.
But great art and artists are generally not religious fanatics, even if and when believers. They just live in a place and are free to give more than conventional behaviours or a conventional reason for it.
Just think that, with due respect, the paintings who were paid the most on auctions are those of Van Vogh, an immense painter, but could that even be ther evaluation metrics? I really don't think so.
Rather consider to look at each master works along with the other ones of his/her times, sharing the same context, with the same tools put aside, and You would really see more easily who the universal giants were all over the art history in the centuries ...

I apologize should all this have been boring.

05-04-2011, 11:38 PM
This is brilliant and I do love your colors better!:):):)

05-04-2011, 11:42 PM
Beautifully painted Cesare, an exceptional piece of artwork:)

05-06-2011, 08:08 PM
Thank You very much, dear Katie and MacPix!

05-06-2011, 08:17 PM
:eek::eek::eek: Wow bravo caesar. Truly outstanding!

Mike Severoff
05-06-2011, 08:39 PM
Excellent picture, Caesar!
But the original story scares me, personally.
You have the right frame:)

05-06-2011, 09:06 PM
Glad You like it, dear Noogins! Thank you!

Dear Mike, You're right, but it was not unusual in those times and, anyway, the story end is positive and intented also to set the difference between the true God and most of false gods in those times, as well as the enormous faith of Abraham towards God he could actually hear differenly from too many people who, in the millennia, cheated about this ...:D Thank You!

05-06-2011, 10:27 PM
Amazing work Caesar, you are a very talented artist.

05-07-2011, 02:14 AM
Dear Shechat, I've got some talents, for drawing at least, as anyone else's got some, I think, but I'm not that sure I'm an artist up to now. Anyway thank You very much for Your supportive words becase I would like to. :):p

05-07-2011, 06:21 AM
Well done, that is wonderful, such talent.

05-09-2011, 08:12 PM
Thank You, dear Limey-g!

05-09-2011, 10:11 PM
Superb Caesar!

05-10-2011, 01:02 AM
Thank You, dear Alan! :) Caravaggio gave me a fundamental help for sure! ;):D

05-11-2011, 10:45 PM
Hello Caesar, brilliantly executed this painting. Maybe you could elaborate more, briefly, on the countrymen painters of the great Italian masters, who are little known by the majority. An interesting subject.

05-12-2011, 12:17 AM
Thank You, dear Oriane.

You're right about the awful number of outstanding masters who came out in this blessed part of the world. Unfortunately they are mostly unknown, appreciated in their role, and they were progressively forgotten as You say.
They're known and considered far less then they would deserve, especially in the anglo-saxon world, notwithstanding they are still, along with the resumed glorious greek-roman tradition, the pillars, and greatest part of the structure and among the most magificent decorations of the whole building of the western and worldwide art history, as well as of most of its visual genres up to now; this even after Italian definitive economical decadence as a primary actor in the XVIII century and following a political importance progressive loss that started when the Oceans began to be sailed continuously for trades.
I guess that France grandeur worked against her European major sister/mom country for some time, in order to shadow the art progress and evolutions that in Italy were still occurring in parallel and often before (see the Macchiaoli or the Posillipo school anticipating impressionism and Barbizon or the metaphysical painting etc.).
The same oblivion possibly happened also in other parts of northern Europe (and its colonies), among their rich merchants, because of the bad fame of Catholicism the Reform spread, starting a departure from what once was a much more shared, humanistic cultural root of the European civilization and sensitivity ...
After all many books on that line seem to be always successful, also in this age, and even fully believed in certain places, no matter how much ignorance and how many notional and logical flaws they're founded on whilst minor, elitarian, exoteric associations are instead told to have been the seed of any progress and evolution (and many crises paid by national and worldwide communities too maybe), curiously not a mafia too. :rolleyes:;):(:p

Anyway, in these days I enjoyed once again the amazing talent of a "minor" Italian painter, Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572). Thinking to the age when he painted such quite modern masterpieces (just look at his portraits), it made me look at his work quite in awe! :eek: Have a look!

05-12-2011, 02:05 AM
Caesar - Thanks for sharing the fabulous works of Agnolo Bronzino:cool:... It amazes me how such talent fabulous images are considered "minor" and mostly lost from site... thanks for bringing him to light.:):):):)

05-12-2011, 05:04 AM
A truly amazing artist. Some of his work anticipates the baroque paintings of the seventeenth century, but his portraits would stand up to any modern master. :eek:

05-12-2011, 06:51 AM
Dear Ghxpainter, unfortunately for him he was just a giant talent among the many top masters of the Renaissance and the following centuries in Italy.
Renaissance was such an awesome period for art development that a unique concentration of absolute number ones ever lived in the same decades, surrounded by other great ones before and after. Top ranking masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Titien, Raphael. It would take many and many dozens of names, should I cite all the other first ranking ones ones that in five centuries were born or worked in our peninsula and who would be the most important painter or among the few very best in most of the countries of the world. I hope to be able to tease You each now and then about them.:D
Did You know for istance that the complementary color mutual enhancement were discovered and powerfully used by Venitian school cenuries before the Impressionists or anyone else or that in his late years Titien painted for himself too in a quite impressionistic or Velasquez/ Rembrandt like synthetic style before they did, so that the brushstrokes became a clear painting when seen from some distance by "impression"?
I'll try to make You discover unexpected surprises hardly said by most art history or tutorial books each now and then if You like. ;)

Dear Doc, You're perfectly right! He was also among the one who probably anticipated the Manierism coming before the Baroque with his style. Some of his best preserved paintings are just incredible and don't suffer of past time at all, especially looking at them directly.

05-18-2011, 06:32 AM
I have been very busy these last weeks, outside in our garden to make ready for summer. But I wanted you to know that I have seen the endresult of your painting.
You did a marvelous job on this and you made boundary's for yourself and you still reached a splendid level of painting !
I do not hear my echo anymore...I hear yours...:D
You do got a lot of talent and you are an Artist in many styles of painting and drawing.

05-18-2011, 07:13 AM
Dear VanityX, Your warm and very kind reply made me rejoice, although I'm a naturally endowed visual researcher and storyteller rather than an artist (my hopeful final goal perhaps). I made enough time to pass to have Your echo fade away (and it took really long because of Your most valuable copy) and leave this fortunately without an accidental direct comparison.
Thank You very much!

05-18-2011, 06:17 PM
Ma.. ma... non ho parole... tutto qui! Sembra che il Caravaggio abbia copiato il tuo lavoro!! Complimenti Cesare (Tradotto alla romana :D).

05-18-2011, 08:19 PM
Infatti il mio nome Ŕ Cesare ... ;):) Grazie Roberto, ma Ŕ quasi una bestemmia artistica anche il solo pensiero di accostare il mio nome a Caravaggio, di cui non sarei degno neppure di pulire i pennelli :D

05-25-2011, 05:22 AM
Thank you dear friend.:)

05-26-2011, 07:43 PM
You're absolutely welcome, dear Oriane!

05-26-2011, 09:10 PM
WOW this turned out amazing Just as I expected it would from you dear Cesare:):)

05-26-2011, 10:09 PM
Thank You, dear Amanda.
Curiously it takes longer and it's more complex, with Artrage tools (maybe I should creat some brush or look for one) to get some more recent styles like pointillism/ divisionism.
Several days ago, I was busy lately, I was looking for copying a marvellous Giovanni Segantini painting, but I either find some shortcut to simulate traits and the bruskwork or it would take really long to get the relevant vibrant effect by thousands of pastel traits ....

05-26-2011, 11:08 PM
A fantastic painting...

05-26-2011, 11:28 PM
Truly amazing work....!!!!!!

05-27-2011, 07:03 PM
Thank You, dear Semd74 and Kenmo!