This is going to be a bit different from a lot of my posts. And yes the story is mostly sarcasm. Enjoy.
Story of The *Narcissus :
Caravaggio is not known for creating classical mythology paintings or anything resembling them. So one day he decided he was going to go mystical on every one's ass. He was tired on doing paintings for the church and being a leader of the new Baroque style. But still the dilemma was there; what myth should he tackle. Well you can bet he thought long and hard about that and when had finally picked a myth he jumped into the air in excitement and went to work right away. Of course Caravaggio didn't want to e thought of as a fool or creating something "silly" or "light hearted". No, this painting of Narcissus would be brooding, cynical, darkness, while still keeping true to the myth. Caravaggio went about painting Narcissus. After having some arguments and trouble with his model it was done and looked pretty good. The painting still captured the classical myth but was introspective, a battle of dark and light, a loop of struggle with one's self and in the end no one could really say it was silly. Also since it is said that when a painter paints he paints himself, a painter is just like Narcissus, obsessed with himself.
*Narcissus is the story of a young very handsome man who feel in love with his reflection.
Now for a bit of seriousness. I love this painting because it breaks away from Caravaggio's norm. He's not known for this type of painting but for some reason it captivated me the most out of the ones that I looked at. It could be the tender and loving look this boy stares at his reflection with. Or the sheer fact that this reflection stares right back at him in a changed form; a ragged older man. Perhaps Caravaggio meant to poke fun at the story itself because this story is associated with artists because they end up putting some of themself into their work and are therefore in love with themselves. He cleverly hides that fact but at the same time brings it to the forefront of our thoughts because he painted it thus proving the saying correct.