Mars, God of War
Mars, God of War, 1624/27
Oil on canvas
35 1/2 × 29 in. (90.17 × 73.66 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Laskin M1975.121
Photo credit: Larry Sanders
Gerrit van Honthorst was the premier representative of the Utrecht Caravaggisti, a school of painters so named because the artists were all deeply influenced by the work of the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio (1571–1610). This painting bears many of the qualities typical of Honthorst and the Utrecht Caravaggisti. The intense, yet concealed light of Mars's torch creates dramatic passages of light and shadow. The composition, likewise, captures a moment of dramatic action, as the god of war, whom Honthorst chose to depict as an ordinary man, peers intently at something (or someone) beyond our view and opens his mouth to speak or cry out.
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This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.