He introduced tension and high drama through the technique of chiaroscuro that brought into sharp focus (almost like a spotlight that is used highlight action or an actor on stage) the main protagonists of the event and chose to immortalize the most poignant moment of the episode – the actual act of murder – by capturing the scene when the killer is about to thrust the blade in the torso of the fallen saint. The saint, it appears, recoils as he falls thus possibly signifying the ultimate victory of Christianity and the parallel placement of the killer’s arm and the angel’s outstretched hand perhaps implies instant martyrdom and sainthood of Saint Mathew. The killer is unaware of the angel and only Saint Mathew can view it thus hinting at his divinity. The marvelous use of light and shadow depicts the bystanders and their sense of horror in one blinding flash as if lightning struck when the murder took place. The painting appears to capture that poignant moment of high drama and unbridled emotion as only a masterpiece can. Critics are of the opinion that Caravaggio was hugely influenced by the large scale grandeur that was so very common in creations during high renaissance period and some say that he was very heavily inspired by The Martyrdom of St Peter the Martyr by Titian while executing his The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew. The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is one among the trilogy of immortal exhibits of Baroque school of painting that is so often hailed.
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The essay "Italian Baroque" analyzes the Baroque art in Italy. The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew along with the other two classics is housed in San Luigi dei Francesi Church in Rome. The painting depicts the killing of Saint Mathew by assassins sent by the debauch king of Ethiopia…
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