The subject's bowstring is broken and his arrows placed by the side, signifying that he has abandoned worldly pleasures.
The piece was produced in 1608 by artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, an Italian artist who worked in Rome, Malta, Sicily and Naples from 1592 to 1610.
The artist used Chiaroscuro painting technique, but darkened the shadows to give the subject prominence. Caravaggio is said to have painted very quickly on canvas, using the end of the painting brush’s handle.
An X-ray of the artistic piece revealed that it was painted on three canvas pieces. The long white lines on the right side of the drawing are seams joining the pieces of canvas.
On the upper left, there is a faded head staring at the cupid. Research is ongoing to find out how this subject relates to the sleeping cupid. This is one of his few surviving paintings, making it more special.
Caravaggio’s peers were not sure of what to make of the artist and his works. Some harshly criticised him for his work, specifically because he used live models instead of reproducing copies of popular drawings. Others hailed him as an artistic visionary.
Painters in Rome admired his pieces—the younger ones were particularly fixated with his works and praised his realistic drawings. Other writers and artists talked about the subject on the painting in the 16th and 17th century. His works are still admired in the contemporary times with some expressing curiosity about the health condition of his model. Recently, scientifically researchers confirmed that Caravaggio used a model with arthritis.
Boy Peeling Fruit
Boy peeling fruit is among the earliest works of Caravaggio. The boy is seated, peeling one fruit with several others placed on a table. Although the fruit seems to be a pear, some critics of the painting say that it could also be a plum or nectarine. He created the ‘boy peeling fruit’ to sell it as a personal project. As he was working on this piece, he also reproduced religious pieces for an artist known as Pucci, none of which are currently available.
The Fortune Teller
The subjects of this beautiful painting are a boy and a fortune teller. The boy, in a feather hat, is believed to have been Caravaggio’s painting companion who was getting a palm reading from a gypsy girl. The two gaze at each other as she reads his palm. She’s slowly slipping off his ring while stroking his hand. Caravaggio is said to have picked the gypsy from the streets to show that he did not need to copy other people’s works as many artists did at the time.