Symbols of Lute Player by Caravaggio
Caravaggio painted The Lute Player for Cardinal del Monte, an important patron during the earlier part of the painter’s career. The play of light and shade, with the use of a shaft of light to illumine the painting from the left, is characteristic of his mature work. (Hermitage, St. Petersburg)
First, commissioned by Cardinal Francesco del Monte painting “The Lute Player” (around 1595) was later bought another Del Monte – an art dealer and art lover Vincenzo Giustiniani. However, by the XIX century the family of Giustiniani became so poor that the collection kept for centuries went under the hammer in 1808. Even before the start of trading Russian emperor Alexander I personally asked the director of the Louvre Baron Dominique Vivant Denon to buy “Lute-Player” for the Hermitage of St. Petersburg. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the most original and influential Italian painter of the 17th century. Noteworthy, his early works were usually small pictures of non-dramatic subjects, with half-length figures, a preponderance of still-life details (which Caravaggio painted superbly), and a frankly homo-erotic character.