Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

1571-1610 (Pilkington-1569-1609) Italy-Baroque

 

Brief Biography-Michael Angelo, Amerigi, da Caravaggio was his real name; Caravaggio was the village of his parents, which he named himself after, he was born in nearby Milan. His father died when he was six and he was brought up by his mother Lucia Aratori. His father had been a mason and he became employed as a boy preparing plaster for fresco artists in Milan.
At the age of twelve, he was apprenticed to a Milanese artist Simone Peterzano. When his mother died, he left for Venice and from there to Rome, with the 393 imperial pounds he inherited. He quickly wasted his money and spent his first years in poverty. He was at one stage employed by a leading fresco artist named Giuseppe Cesari, before being admitted to hospital after allegedly been kicked by a horse.
He became employed by a Cardinal Del Monte, a collector of art whom he painted for. He received his first important commission for two paintings in the Contarelli Chapel in San Luigi dei Francesi. It was that work which made him famous, and painting churches was where the money was. Commissions began to be numerous, however he would interrupt his work to go around tennis courts with his rapier and servant boy in tow, getting into fights. He was accused of various assaults and his rival artist Giovanni Baglione had him imprisoned, he was released on condition that he stayed at home and didn't offend Giovanni, lest he wished to be a galley slave. He did however continue to engage in anti-social behaviour. It is taught his patrons protected him from the slave galleys.
In 1606 he and his friends got into a fight over a wager on a tennis match, he was wounded and his opponent eventually died from his wound. He subsequently fled Rome never to return. He went to Naples, where he painted three altarpieces before going to Malta.
In Malta, he stayed with the Knights of Saint John and painted his largest work "The Beheading of Saint John" the patron-saint. He was made a Knight of the Order of Obedience as part payment for his work. it was reported that 'the Grandmaster put a gold chain around his neck and made him a gift of two Turkish slaves' in addition to his honours. News of Rome caught up with him and he was stripped of his honours and thrown into prison after a fight with a Knight. He escaped to Sicily and made his way to Messina and Palermo, there he painted two altarpieces before returning to Naples.
He was now running from Papal justice and the Maltese Knights. In Rome, his friends were still trying to get him a pardon; it was said that they got him a Pope’s pardon for the murder of his companion, hence he set out for Rome. In 1610, he left Naples on a small boat to Porto Ercole. There he was imprisoned by Spaniards for two days after being mistaken for another man. When he was released he found the boatman had robbed his boat and belongings. He went in search of his missing boat along a hot sunny beach, where it is said 'he suffered a raging fever and died as miserably as he had lived'
Caravaggio started out painting still-life with flowers and fruit, later he painted mostly historical and religious subjects, along with portraits. The works of Giorgione had a strong influence on him. Domenichino was one of many artists of the time who were influenced by his work. He was the first artist to use the style of tenebrism extensively, a style that uses a marked chiaroscuro, where there are extreme contrasts of light and dark, and darkness governs the painting. It is attributed to earlier artists but he popularised it.

 

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Conversion

The Calling of Saint Mathew

Gypsy Fortune
Teller

The Gypsy Fortune Teller


Crucifixion

Crucifixion of Saint Peter

Judith
Beheading-

Judith Beheading Holofernes

Madonna
di Loreto

Madonna di Loreto


Medusa

Medusa

Sacrifice
of Isaac

Sacrifice of Isaac

Death of
the Virgin

Death of the Virgin

The
Concert

The Concert

The Rest on
the Flight

Rest on the Flight

David with
Goliath

David with the Head of Goliath

the entombment
of christ

the entombment of christ

calling of saint
mathew detail

calling of saint mathew detail

The
Calling

The Calling of Saint Mathew


bacchus

The Taking
of Christ

Taking of Christ

Martyrdom of saint
Mathew

Martyrdom of saint Mathew

Beheading of Saint
John

Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Boy Bitten By
A Lizard

Boy Bitten By A Lizard


Inspiration

Inspiration of Saint Mathew


David

David


Cardsharps

Cardsharps

Lute
Player

Lute Player

Ecce
Homo

Ecce Homo

The
Incredulity

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas

Madonna
del Rosario

Madonna del Rosario


Magdalene

Magdalene


Narcissus

Narcissus

Alof de
Wignacourt

Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt

Supper
at Emmaus

Supper at Emmaus

John
the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist at the Well

Sacred Love Versus
Profane Love

Sacred Love Versus Profane Love


Meditation

Saint Jerome in Meditation

Saint Jerome
Writing

Saint Jerome Writing

Peeling
Fruit

Boy Peeling a Fruit

Saint
Jerome

Saint Jerome

Saint John
the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist

Salome with
the Head of John

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

Self As the Sick
Bacchus

Self as the Sick Bacchus

The
Toothpuller

The Toothpuller

John the
Baptist

Saint John the Baptist

Supper
at Emmaus

Supper at Emmaus

The
Crowning

The Crowning with Thorns

The Denial
of St Peter

The Denial of St Peter

The Seven
Acts of Mercy

The Seven Acts of Mercy

The Sacrifice
of Isaac

The Sacrifice of Isaac