Madonna Palafrenieri (Madonna with a Snake) - Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. 292x211
Image of Our Lady with Christ and Saint Anne Caravaggio wrote commissioned by the papal stables (from Italian "palafrenieri" - "grooms") for the main altar of the church of Sant'Anna near St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The second name of the picture was due to the fact that here the snake is depicted - a symbol of evil trampled by Mary and Christ.
In the cathedral, the work of the master, whose art went beyond the canons, was only a few days. With Caravaggio, it happened more than once that, due to dissatisfaction of clergymen, his works left the walls of churches and settled in private collections. In this case, the picture was in the collection of Shipione Borghese. The reason why she was removed from the church was most likely the following: the artist portrayed Anna, Mary and Christ with such courage and such a realistic approach to creating images, as if he had painted one of his obscure and not rich contemporaries.
“He believes that ... nothing could be better than following nature,” wrote his contemporary, Dutch artist and art historian Karel van Mander, about Caravaggio. “From here it is clear that he does not do a single brush stroke without having to study the life that he copies and writes.” But it was precisely the addiction to the truth of life, the desire to bring the divine closer to man that was the innovation of Caravaggio that stirred the art of European artists.
However, Caravaggio perfectly knew how to “stage” the scene he had conceived as a real Baroque artist, one of whose founders he was. And his manner of “tenebrozo” (translated from Italian as “gloomy, dark”), when a ray of light cuts through the darkness and illuminates the characters, enhances the moment of theatricalization of the depicted.