عنوان مقاله [English]
Problem statement: Hallmarked by dramatic lighting against dark backgrounds, life-size figures, and raw emotions—in other words, a visual style resembling a thoroughly realistic play—Caravaggio’s paintings look like scenes of a tragedy and can therefore inspire catharsis in the viewer. Catharsis is not limited to drama and is found also in other art forms, including painting, music, and sculpture. This study attempts to understand how a painting can evoke tragedy and, in turn, produce catharsis.
Research objective: The study aimed to compare Aristotelian tragedy and the art of Caravaggio from the standpoint of catharsis.
Research methodology: In this descriptive-analytical study, data was collected through a desk research method, and five Caravaggio paintings were selected at random for visual analysis and comparison.
Conclusion: The study found that a Caravaggio painting is a completely realistic “theater of contradictions” in which light and darkness, youth and old age, life and death, and strength and weakness are portrayed simultaneously. The painter arranged his scenes with an extraordinary display of faces expressing raw emotions. Based on a comparison between Aristotle’s definition of tragedy and Caravaggio’s paintings, his art is tragic in form and capable of effecting catharsis in viewers.