Ignudo by Michelangelo , c. Sistine Chapel , Rome. The model for Amor Vincit was a boy named Cecco, Caravaggio's servant and possibly his pupil as well. He has been tentatively identified with an artist active in Rome about , otherwise known only as Cecco del Caravaggio — Caravaggio's Cecco — who painted very much in Caravaggio's style.
St John the Baptist, Caravaggio () | Art and design | The Guardian
The picture was listed in the del Monte inventory of and sold at the del Monte sale of , probably with the Rome Fortune-teller, to Cardinal Pio. The fact that the young Baptist has none of his usual identifying attributes a bowl, reed cross and lamb has led to some doubt about the identity of the subject, but the fact that it is mentioned in so many of the early sources as a Baptist should be given due emphasis. The Baptist had often been depicted as a good-looking, semi-nude, youth during the Renaissance and Caravaggio clearly owed as much to this well-established iconographic trend as he did, in the pose, to Michelangelo 's energetic male nudes on the Sistine ceiling or his statue of Day in the Medici Chapel. But the figure, lounging like the Uffizi Bacchus on a bundle of bedding, is much more overtly sensual than any of these Renaissance works, and it is as if Caravaggio chose to develop the subject's acquired connations at the expense of its original biblical and Christian significance.
Caravaggio lived fast and left a string of masterpieces across Mediterranean Europe, but Rome was the place where this north Italian painter discovered himself. He arrived there in or 93, attracting attention as a naturalistic painter before taking on the religious subjects that sorted the men from the boys in the capital of the Counter-Reformation. But despite his fame, he was forced to flee Rome for the little matter of killing a man.
John the Baptist but rather that sometime shepherd and abductor of Helen of Troy, Paris. Why does the representation of the penis matter? The immediate answer that comes to mind is that presumably Jewish male figures would be portrayed by Caravaggio as circumcised.