Christ at the Column, c.1607
Oil on canvas, 52 7/8 x 69 inches (134.5 x 175.5 cm)
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
The movement of these figures in Christ at the Column by Caravaggio, who are sharply divided into two different halves of the painting, is conceived entirely in terms of the light coming from the left. In the process, the flagellation column, usually a decisive motif, appears as little more than a symbol of Christ, without having any effect on the pictorial space, which is immersed in the blackness of the background. Judging by the assistants rather than by Christ, the Christ at the Column dates from the time of Caravaggio's first stay in Naples.