Michelangelo Merisi detto il Caravaggio
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(b. 1573, Caravaggio, d. 1610, Porto Ercole)

Boy Bitten by a Lizard
c. 1594
Oil on canvas, 65,8 x 52,3 cm
Collezione Longhi, Florence

Two almost identical examples of this composition exist (the other in the National Gallery, London). Their equally high quality suggests that Caravaggio himself painted them both.

Against a neutral background, a boy with a white rose behind his ear is standing behind a stone slab which leads diagonally into the picture. In his fright, his shirt has slipped down off his shoulder. While reaching for some fruit, which lies next to a vase containing orange blossom or jasmine, as well as a rose, he has been bitten by a lizard in his middle finger, which has given rise to ticklish erotic overtones.

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Title: Boy Bitten by a Lizard
Time-line: 1551-1600
School: Italian
Form: painting
Type: genre


| 24/04/2009