It is at first sight a pleasing tableau, and a story Rembrandt and others have interpreted. Caravaggio captures the moment at which other diners in the inn realise that one of the guests is Jesus. And like all good moments of drama in art and literature, he has slowed down time and made it explode all at once: a man half rises from his chair, another man’s arms fall out in shock. He has also left everything else in darkness so that all the light can focus on the moment of extraordinary revelation. Moments of high drama are best served by occurring in a silent pool. A stone thrown into an already choppy surface creates no ripples. Bulgakov advised a scene or sentence highlighting silence or stillness just before a moment of violence. It allows the blood to explode so much further across the snow.