One of the most famous painters of the Renaissance, Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio changed the course of art history by introducing in particular bold innovations in composition, the use of light and the interpretation of mythical themes .
The Renaissance was a clear historical milestone in every possible aspect of human activity. After the Crusades, the Black Death and the great famines of the Middle Ages, it came to a consolidation. The return to antiquity and human reason brought a completely different view of the world, followed by the increasing urbanization of European societies, a process connected with the conquest of other continents. The Italian cities and states were more or less run by very wealthy merchant families, who often belonged to the papal regime. This meant that artists like Caravaggio could receive generous funds for their works, whether public or private
For a short time Caravaggio was one of Rome's best painters, but due to his Bohemian lifestyle, the artist became legal followed and considered a madman. He became an outcast, which eventually led to his sudden death in 1
To honor this outstanding painter, we have chosen five of Caravaggio's most iconic images, showing only his artistic mastery, but also his personal struggle.
Editor's tip: Caravaggio: Complete Works
This work offers a comprehensive reappraisal of Caravaggio's entire work with a catalog raisonné of his works. Each painting is reproduced in large format, with newer, highly productive photography allowing dramatic close-ups with Caravaggio's sophisticated details of looks and gestures.
Selected image: Caravaggio – The Vocation of St. Matthew, detail, 1599- 1600. Oil on canvas. 340 cm x 322 cm. Collection Contarelli Chapel, Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. Image creative commons.