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Italian painter

Born 1571 - Died 1610

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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.


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influence on

02 July 2018 to 13 July 2018

Methods of the Masters: Caravaggio Workshop 3

10 Via Nardo di Cione, Firenze, Toscana 50121

In this 60-hour workshop, students will gain hands-on familiarity with the techniques of one of the great masters of sacred art, Michelangelo Merisi, also called Caravaggio. Known for dramatic compositions using light and dark, called chiaroscuro, Caravaggio developed a very specific and efficient way of working. Using a high-quality reproduction, students will have the opportunity to thoroughly study how Caravaggio created his masterpieces. Beginning with the drawing stage through to the final glazes, all stages of Caravaggio’s painting process will be discussed and practiced.


by Angel, Michael John

Published on 01 January 2002
Published on 08 September 2014