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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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Caravaggio
Italian painter
born 1571- died 1610

Also known as:
Michelangelo Merisi, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravagio, Miche

Nationality:
Italian

Employee of:
Giuseppe Cesari (1568-1640)

Influence on:
Angelo Caroselli (1585-1652), Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656)


Biographical Information

CARAVAGGIO, MICHELANGELO AMERIGHI (or MERIGI) DA (1569-1609), Italian painter, was born in the village of Caravaggio, in Lombardy, from which he received his name. He was originally a mason's laborer, but his powerful genius directed him to painting, at which he worked with immitigable energy and amazing force. He despised every sort of idealism whether noble or emasculate, became the head of the Naturalisti (unmodified imitators of ordinary nature) in painting, and adopted a style of potent contrasts of light and shadow, laid on with a sort of fury, indicative of that fierce temper which led the artist to commit a homicide in a gambling quarrel at Rome. To avoid the consequences of his crime he fled to Naples and to Malta, where he was imprisoned for another attempt to avenge a quarrel. Escaping to Sicily, he was attacked by a party sent in pursuit of him, and severely wounded. Being pardoned, he set out for Rome; but having been arrested by mistake before his arrival, and afterwards released, and left to shift for himself in excessive heat and suffering from wounds and hardships he died of fever on the beach at Pontercole in 1609. His best pictures are the Entombment of Christ, now in the Vatican; St Sebastian, in the Roman Capitol; a magnificent wholelength portrait of a grand-master of the Knights of Malta, Alof de Vignacourt, and his page, in the Louvre; and the Borghese Supper at Emmaus.

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.

Art Renewal Center Articles about Caravaggio

Caravaggio and The Betrayal of Christ
Caravaggio

   Books and Related Products About This Artist

Rest on Flight to Egypt

1596-1597
Oil on canvas
133.5 x 166.5 cm
(52.56" x 65.55")
Galleria Doria-Pamphili (Rome, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
Rest on Flight to Egypt
Sick Bacchus

c1593
Oil on canvas
67 x 53 cm
(26.38" x 20.87")
Galleria Borghese (Rome, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
Sick Bacchus
Madonna del Rosario

1607
Oil on canvas
364.5 x 249.5 cm
(143½" x 98.23")
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna, Austria)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
Madonna del Rosario
The Martyrdom of St. Matthew

1599-1600
Oil on canvas
323 x 343 cm
(127.17" x 135.04")
Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi (Rome, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
The Martyrdom of St. Matthew
The Sacrifice of Isaac

1601-1602
Oil on canvas
104 x 135 cm
(40.94" x 53.15")
Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
Judith Beheading Holofernes

c1598
Oil on canvas
145 x 195 cm
(57.09" x 76.77")
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica (Rome, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
Judith Beheading Holofernes
The Entombment

1602-1603
Oil on canvas
300 x 203 cm
(118.11" x 79.92")
Vatican Museum: Pinacoteca (Vatican City, Vatican, Holy See (Vatican City State))

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
The Entombment
The Raising of Lazarus

1608-1609
Oil on canvas
380 x 275 cm
(149.61" x 108.27")
Museo Nazionale (Messina, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
The Raising of Lazarus
Burial of St. Lucy

1608
Oil on canvas
408 x 300 cm
(160.63" x 118.11")
Santa Lucia (Syracuse, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-28
Burial of St. Lucy
Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

1608
Oil on canvas
361 x 520 cm
(142.13" x 204.72")
Saint John Museum (La Valletta, Malta)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-11-29
Beheading of Saint John the Baptist