Artistic Ways Of Murder David M. Stone

1235 Words5 Pages
Artistic Ways of Murder David M. Stone has made some great points in his article, “Signature Killer: Caravaggio and the Poetics of Blood.” Stone set out to explain his ideas about Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio’s honorary knighthood and the social standing it gave him, and what it meant for Caravaggio to sign his name in The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, in the blood of St. John the Baptist himself. Stone gave great insight into the world of Caravaggio’s life and what he could have been implying through the act of signing in blood. Stone stated that Caravaggio left his lucrative career as an altarpiece painter to provide praiseworthy service to the Order of St. John, in hopes of becoming an honorary knight in the…show more content…
Caravaggio’s demonstration of the power of art was using art as leverage to become a nonnoble in a chivalric order and to gain freedom for his crimes. All nobles in the Knights of Malta have a coat of arms to help tell the story of who came to the island and earned a knighthood. Since Caravaggio was not a noble he did not have a coat of arms. His lack of nobility would be obvious by fellow knights and novices in Malta on his altarpiece, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, since for his masterpieces missing coat of arms. The missing coat of arms would have other knights questioning his deserving of a knighthood and his merit. Through Caravaggio’s signature in blood is a ready response: “here are my bloodlines, my proof of nobility, descended directly, through faith and dutiful service-through the virtue of my art-from the precious blood of our martyred patron saint, John the Baptist.” Caravaggio’s rhetoric of the triumph of faith over family ties could not be clearer. Stone states that John the Baptist must be consider the first fallen knight of the order of St. John. He quotes Caroline walker Bynum as stating the positive effects of bloodshed: cleansing, sealing, freeing, protecting, restoring, vivifying, inebriating, reinstating, redeeming. Signing his name in the blood of the Baptist suggest through membership in the Order of St. John Caravaggio is being reborn rebaptized with a new name: fra

More about Artistic Ways Of Murder David M. Stone

Open Document