November 24, 2011
CARAVAGGIO’S The Supper at Emmaus, completed in 1601, is a painting of astonishing drama. Resurrected to life, a youthful, serene-looking Christ, in the act of blessing a meal, reveals himself to two of his disciples who recognize his characteristic gestures. Notice the autumnal basket of fruit, which reminds me of a Thanksgiving feast, teetering on the edge of the table, the apples and figs symbolizing original sin. They are apples and figs, in addition to symbols, in a state of over-ripened glory, suggesting that all of earthly matter was divinized by this historic moment. The expression on the face of the innkeeper, to Christ’s right, is one of profound seriousness and intensity. He is mesmerized by what he sees.