The figure of Jesus Christ can hardly be noticed in the painting. He has been portrayed as a young man wearing very simple clothes and no shoes. The faint halo over his head is the only feature that helps an onlooker to distinguish him from the other figures around him. His posture also seems very noble and gracious, and in a way indicates his divinity by suggesting his command over the ray of light entering the room. The “Calling of St. Matthew” is a grand and multi-figured composition that can be partitioned into two sides. The figures on the left side of the painting constitute a horizontal rectangle, while the remaining two figures on the right constitute a vertical rectangular block. The basis of demarcation between the two sides of the painting is the clothing of the characters. The index of Jesus pointing at Matthew serves as a line of demarcation between the two sides of light and shadow. Another marked feature is Caravaggio's use of lighting technique or tenebrism that he used to add a dramatic element to his images. This discretionary use of light and shadow effects helped his characters to appear more natural, lively and identifiable. The artist has thrown a diagonal light from a high window across the wall over the main figures and left the rest in the shadow. This technique, known as cellar lighting, helps to highlight some of the features, emotions and actions of the protagonists in the painting. Caravaggio has filled his canvas with vivid colors and hues from his palette.
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