Caravaggio’s Taking of Christ: Great Art Explained

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I started ”Great Art Explained” during lockdown. My aim is to make videos which focus on one great artwork. I want to present art in a jargon free, entertaining, clear and concise way with no gimmicks.

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The Taking of Christ is a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The subject is the moment that the son of God is betrayed with a kiss, and arrested in the garden of Gethsemane.

Caravaggio’s approach to religious art was shocking and controversial in his time, his work was censored, dismissed and criticised, but it would lead to an entirely new kind of Christian art.

The intensity of his paintings was matched only by his tempestuous lifestyle.

The same year he painted this picture, Caravaggio was imprisoned for libel. A year later he was arrested for throwing a plate of hot artichokes at a waiter, a year after that, he wounded an official, and then finally, in 1606 he killed a man… and would spend the rest of his life on the run.

More than any other painter in history, Caravaggio understood what it was like to be pursued by the authorities.


The Taking of Christ is on permanent loan to The National gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Caravaggio’s paintings used in this film are in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.

Caravaggio Techniques ©Artenet –
Godfather Part II ©Paramount Pictures
Sunset Boulevard ©Paramount Pictures
Caravaggio ©cinevista and BFI films

royalty free Music by Giorgio Di Campo for FreeSound Music

Intro music: Maria Callas sings ”Casta Diva” (Bellini: Norma, Act 1)

”Theme” music: JS Bach “Sonata for violin solo No.1 in G Minor”

All the videos, songs, images, and graphics used in the video belong to their respective owners and I or this channel does not claim any right over them.

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

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