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About Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 1571-1610

Italian painter, active in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily was the first great representative of the Baroque school of painting, noted for his intensely emotional canvases and dramatic use of lighting.

About 1595 he began to sell his paintings through a dealer. The dealer brought Caravaggio to the attention of Cardinal Francesco del Monte. Through the cardinal, Caravaggio was commissioned, at age 24, to paint for the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. In its Contarelli Chapel Caravaggio's realistic naturalism first fully appeared in three scenes he created of the life of St. Matthew. 


Famous and extremely influential while he lived, Caravaggio was almost entirely forgotten in the centuries after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. Despite this, his influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from the ruins of Mannerism was profound.

In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. In Malta in 1608 he was involved in another brawl, and yet another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. By the next year, after a relatively brief career, he was dead. 

Caravaggio Virtual Gallery
Caravaggio at Web Gallery of Art
Caravaggio at Art Renewal
Caravaggio at CGFA
Caravaggio at Aiwaz
Caravaggio at artyzm
Caravaggio at Pintura 
Caravaggio at Humanitiesweb