The Life of Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio or Michelangelo Caravaggio, or simply Caravaggio is an artist who was born on September 28, 1573 in Milan. His father is Fermo Merisi and his mother is Lucia Aratori. It was at age 11 when he became an orphan. Soon he was apprenticed to the painter, Simone

Peterzano for four years. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for Caravaggio. Peterzano was a poor painter who gave his students many opportunities to blossom on their own. This prompted Caravaggio to develop a style of painting that was unique to him. He excelled in Baroque Art, which was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1595, Michelangelo Caravaggio met Cardinal Francesco del Monte who commissioned the artist to paint for the church of San Luigi dei Francesci. Caravaggio had to paint three large paintings of scenes from the life of St. Matthew. They were, “St Matthew and the Angel (1600),” “The Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1600),” and “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew (1600).” Influenced by Naturalism and Chiaroscuro, these paintings were so realistic and dramatic that there was a public outrage at their depiction. Instead of proving a deterrent, these paintings drove Caravaggio to concentrate his efforts on religious themes, interpreting them in his own style. Though his paintings often had a brutal and harsh quality in them, Caravaggio’s reputation as an artist was at its peak by 1600.

The painter was also infamous for his unruly behavior. He was known to be a womanizer and a drinker. In one incident of extreme brawling in 1606, Caravaggio ended up killing his opponent and had to flee from Rome. He resurfaced at Zagarolo where he was under the protection of Duke Don Marzio Colonna. Caravaggio painted Christ at Emmaus and a portrait of Mary Magdalene for the Duke. By 1607, he moved to Malta where he painted “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.” He had to leave Malta and seek refuge in Sicily because of his criminal background. Since he had become a famous artist, he had no dearth of clients. Here the artist painted “The Burial of St. Lucy,” “The Resurrection of Lazarus,” and “The Adoration of the Shepherds.” His escapades then led him to Naples in 1609, where he painted “The Madonna of the Rosary” and “The Seven Works of Mercury.” In contrast to his earlier paintings, which used light and shadow effectively to bring about clarity, these paintings were dark. Many believe that Caravaggio displayed his tumultuous life in his work.

Are you interested in seeing Abstract Art Paintings? Or Do you want to see know more about the Life of Claude Monet?

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