Untitled #02/18 (after Caravaggio, 1607)
80 x 85 cm / 32" x 34"
106 x 101 cm / 42" x 40"
Oil on board
Signed lower right
Immediately apparent to followers of Watson's art is that this extraordinary work is the first to introduce a complete masterpiece by Caravaggio into a 21st Century scene, as apposed to introducing contemporary models painted within the classical work - an important and significant development in the Australian artist's ouvre.
Once again, and without altering the Renaissance artist's composition or proportions, Watson has created a compelling scene with his first reference of Caravaggio's iconic 'David with the Head of Goliath' integrated into a construction scene featuring a ruggedly, masculine plumber and iconography we immediately associate with warning and danger.
Caravaggio famously spotted many of his subjects in the street and many of these were working class men and women. Watson photographed this plumber working in the street near his Melbourne home. His expression is tense as he eyes David, and subtle but discernible splatters of blood on his arms render his inclusion in the scene convincing. Strongly reinforcing the violent tension in the classical reference.
The fluorescent road worker sign evokes Caravaggio's street workers, and Watson's strategically placed gold and white arrows draws the viewer's eyes upwards, whilst David's clenched left hand forms a powerful visual triangle with the white diagonal bands below.
In 1616, The Prince of Wales, who became King Charles I of England bought Caravaggio's David with the Head of Goliath, ironically, his eventual death was by beheading. This painting of 'David' was Caravaggio's last painting of a young man called Cecco, whom he had painted several times.
Edition Print Options
Join collectors and art museums such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Sir Elton John and J.D Wolfenson (former president of the World Bank) in collecting a timeless original oil painting.
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"I have been a proud collector of Ross' paintings for many years. His art is astounding in its beauty, emotion, and reverence for our humanity and the world we live in. His attention to the smallest details, and use of light, dark and colour, rivals art's greatest masters."
James J. O'Donnell, Patron, art collector, NYC
"We are loving our new acquisition and we know that 'Nathan, view to Florence' will bring us endless years of joy. Thanks for sharing your talent. We love your work so keep it up!"
Paul Zahra and Duncan Peerman, Sydney
"As avid art collectors we are very proud to have Ross' stunningly handsome work in our collection. His art brings us great joy and we love to share his work with our friends and visitors. We were absolutely thrilled to recently add 'Two Soldiers' to our collection."
Christopher Cosier & Chris Webber, Sydney
"We are still buzzing from our purchase - I am calling it buyer's exaltation! Looking forward to having your wonderful work of art take pride of place in our new home."
Jon Anderson and Lance Johnston, Sydney
"Your art hanging around our home provides us with such pleasure, and we can’t wait for A-Bay to join the Ross Watson family." <
Haydon Elliot and Greg Moses, Melbourne
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