In David M. Stone's The Beheading Of Saint John The Baptist

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David M. Stone examines the medium of blood writing and the intention behind its use in Caravaggio’s painting, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Stone believes Caravaggio’s signature written in the blood of the Saint holds both political and poetic meaning rather than a simple act of contrition, as many of his peers have concluded. Both interpretations, although very different, highlight Caravaggio’s “habit of inventing novel ways of establishing his presence in his own paintings” In David Stone’s words: “Rather than an act of contrition, then, the signature "in blood" is an affirmation of Caravaggio's new status as a brother in the oldest, most powerful of the crusading orders.” It is through devotion Caravaggio finds redemption in Malta and The Beheading Saint John the Baptist and the innovative use of “blood as ink” plays a significant role. The painting, depicting the beheading of Saint John, is a depiction of martyrdom with the very “first fallen Knight” of the Order of Saint John. This martyrdom is considered a “baptism of blood, a rebirth through death” and the use of blood in…show more content…
In the work of Fra Christian von Osterhausen Stone finds similarities to Caravaggio’s beliefs. In Osterhausen’s piece Christ on the Cross
with a Praying Knight, the link between faith and nobility is depicted with an image very similar to the family tree required as proof of nobility for knighthood. Osterhausen uses imagery of genealogical branches of the Knights of Malta commonly used to depict nobility, while also linking their lineage to the Christ and the Holy Cross, expressing the idea that the brotherhood “is linked as much by faith as nobility”. This idea of the equality of faith and nobility would have been very important to Caravaggio seeing as his lineage alone wouldn’t have allowed him a place in the

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