Biography of Caravaggio Early life Caravaggio was born in Milan, where his father, Fermo Merisi, was a household administrator and architect-decorator to the Marchese of Caravaggio. His mother, Lucia Aratori, came from a propertied family of the same district. In the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague which ravaged Milan. Caravaggio's father died there in and his mother in
Basket of Fruitc. Caravaggio's mother died inthe same year he began his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzanodescribed in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Caravaggio appears to have stayed in the Milan-Caravaggio area after his apprenticeship ended, but Caravaggio and his life is possible that he visited Venice and saw the works of Giorgionewhom Federico Zuccari later accused him of imitating, and Titian.
The young artist arrived in Rome "naked and extremely needy In Rome there was demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time.
It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism. The Musicians—, Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York Known works from this period include a small Boy Peeling a Fruit his earliest known paintinga Boy with a Basket of Fruitand the Young Sick Bacchussupposedly a self-portrait done during convalescence from a serious illness that ended his employment with Cesari.
All three demonstrate the physical particularity for which Caravaggio was to become renowned: Orsi, established in the profession, introduced him to influential collectors; Longhi, more balefully, introduced him to the world of Roman street-brawls.
Ostensibly, the first archival reference to Caravaggio in a contemporary document from Rome is the listing of his name, with that of Prospero Orsi as his partner, as an 'assistante' in a procession in October in honour of St.
Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy c. The theme was quite new for Rome, and proved immensely influential over the next century and beyond.
This, however, was in the future: Like The Fortune Teller, it was immensely popular, and over 50 copies survive. More importantly, it attracted the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monteone of the leading connoisseurs in Rome.
For Del Monte and his wealthy art-loving circle, Caravaggio executed a number of intimate chamber-pieces — The MusiciansThe Lute Playera tipsy Bacchusan allegorical but realistic Boy Bitten by a Lizard — featuring Minniti and other adolescent models.
Caravaggio's first paintings on religious themes returned to realism, and the emergence of remarkable spirituality. The first of these was the Penitent Magdaleneshowing Mary Magdalene at the moment when she has turned from her life as a courtesan and sits weeping on the floor, her jewels scattered around her.
Where was the repentance It was followed by others in the same style: These works, while viewed by a comparatively limited circle, increased Caravaggio's fame with both connoisseurs and his fellow artists. But a true reputation would depend on public commissions, and for these it was necessary to look to the Church.
Already evident was the intense realism or naturalism for which Caravaggio is now famous. He preferred to paint his subjects as the eye sees them, with all their natural flaws and defects instead of as idealised creations.
This allowed a full display of his virtuosic talents. This shift from accepted standard practice and the classical idealism of Michelangelo was very controversial at the time.
Caravaggio also dispensed with the lengthy preparations traditional in central Italy at the time. Instead, he preferred the Venetian practice of working in oils directly from the subject — half-length figures and still life. Supper at Emmausfrom c.
The two works making up the commission, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthewdelivered inwere an immediate sensation. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons. Without recourse to flying angels, parting clouds or other artifice, Caravaggio portrays the instant conversion of St Matthew, the moment on which his destiny will turn, by means of a beam of light and the pointing finger of Jesus.
Caravaggio's tenebrism a heightened chiaroscuro brought high drama to his subjects, while his acutely observed realism brought a new level of emotional intensity. Opinion among his artist peers was polarized. Some denounced him for various perceived failings, notably his insistence on painting from life, without drawings, but for the most part he was hailed as a great artistic visionary: The essence of the problem was that while Caravaggio's dramatic intensity was appreciated, his realism was seen by some as unacceptably vulgar.
Similarly, The Conversion of Saint Paul was rejected, and while another version of the same subject, the Conversion on the Way to Damascuswas accepted, it featured the saint's horse's haunches far more prominently than the saint himself, prompting this exchange between the artist and an exasperated official of Santa Maria del Popolo: The history of these last two paintings illustrates the reception given to some of Caravaggio's art, and the times in which he lived.
The Grooms' Madonnaalso known as Madonna dei palafrenieri, painted for a small altar in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, remained there for just two days, and was then taken off. A cardinal's secretary wrote: One would say it is a work made by a painter that can paint well, but of a dark spirit, and who has been for a lot of time far from God, from His adoration, and from any good thought Caravaggio shows Cupid prevailing over all human endeavors:Caravaggio was never able to capitalize on his success, however, for his character and personal life were even darker and more controversial than his paintings.
With his unruly black curls and unkempt black beard, the artist was known to wander the streets of Rome dressed in black, accompanied by his black dog, Crow (the bird-harbinger of death. It is assumed that the artist grew up in Caravaggio, but his family kept up connections with the Sforza and with the powerful Colonna family, who were allied by marriage with the Sforzas, and destined to play a major role later in Caravaggio's life.
Caravaggio’s reputation was clouded, during his own lifetime and in the aftermath of his untimely death, by the turbulent and ultimately tragic circumstances of his personal life.
He committed murder and violent assault while at the peak of his success in Rome and consequently spent much of his later career—when he also created many of his.
Synopsis. Caravaggio was born as Michelangelo Merisi in Italy around He was orphaned at age 11 and apprenticed with a painter in Milan. He moved to Rome, where his work became popular for Died: Jul 18, Caravaggio was never able to capitalize on his success, however, for his character and personal life were even darker and more controversial than his paintings.
With his unruly black curls and unkempt black beard, the artist was known to wander the streets of Rome dressed in black, accompanied by his black dog, Crow (the bird-harbinger of death.
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