I saw Dirk van Baburen's The Lute Player (1622) today and instantly thought that, as much as he tried, as part of the Utrecht Caravaggisti, he wasn’t successful in imitating Caravaggio’s much more sensual, softer, meditative Lute Player from around 1596. Van Baburen’s musician seems to borrow his clothing from Caravaggio's young, fooled man in the Fortune Teller (c. 1594). His face is decidedly Dutch, however, and Baburen has attempted to imbue it with the same reminiscent quality over lost love that Caravaggio’s young castrato has. Perhaps it’s the way that his mouth is so obviously agape, or perhaps it’s because he is fully clothed, leaving nothing for the light to sensually cast itself onto. Whereas Caravaggio’s Lute Player gazes out into nothing, Van Baburen’s musician nearly gazes out at us, giving us a direct connection with him. There is less mystery in this. As a whole, the composition is something that can be concretely and even proudly ascribed to the Caravaggisti; but the delicate emotional qualities so celebrated in Caravaggio’s early works are not fully formed here.