Caravaggio's The Conversion of St Paul
I thought I would start out with something maybe less obvious but nonetheless something that is very close to my heart. Caravaggio's The Conversion of Saint Paul is an absolute Masterpiece, with a capitol M. This work is one of the best examples of Caravaggio's exemplary use of light. I think there is a tendency to focus on the skewed perspective with this piece but what is often taken for granted while focusing on this is that without the shadows and the light that perspective disappears. Not to change subjects but some of Pablo Picasso's best work does just that, flattens the plane by removing the shadows. In that way Caravaggio laid a ground work for modernity by pushing the boundaries of perspective through the use of light. Although this work is often characterized by it's hyper-realism, the work is actually more surreal than real. By eschewing the traditional composition Caravaggio shows us a moment so short that a camera (the most modern of devices) would struggle to capture. This work's modernness cannot be disputed.