I wrote a bit about this picture on the feast of St. Matthew, after which followed (not on the blog) a conversation with my husband and someone else about which of these men is really Matthew. My husband said the man that is pointing to himself. I thought that man was pointing to the young man at the end of the table. I could have sworn that I talked about this online somewhere, but maybe I'm mistaken or hallucinating or something.
The reason I'm posting it now is that yesterday in the group that is watching Fr. Barron's series after Mass, Matthew was the subject of the video, and Father talked a lot about this picture. Fr. Barron agrees with Bill about which man is Matthew, and he's almost convinced me, but what struck me most was that Father said that Caravaggio deliberately painted the of Jesus to look exactly like that of God in the Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel. At first that seemed plausible, but I didn't have anything to compare it with. However, when I was trying to find pictures to illustrate this, I saw that what that hand really looks like is the hand of Adam. This makes perfect sense--Jesus, the new Adam, calling forth instead of being called forth.
Father then pointed out that you can barely see Jesus because Peter (I never thought of this being Peter before.) was standing in front of Him, and that Caravaggio was trying to show that we have to go through Peter to get to Jesus. Well, this is plausible enough, and what I noticed is that Peter almost looks as if he is practicing to make his hand be like that of Jesus.
I looked around to see if anyone else had written about Jesus's hand, and I found that, yes, more than one person has and here is one of them. Lo and behold, he said the same thing that I was thinking about Adam (obviously an intelligent man). There are a lot of articles and opinions about this picture floating around the internet, but I will leave it to you to find them if you are interested. I find the whole subject fascinating.