Michelangelo Caravaggio was one of the greatest painters of all time. He fine tuned the technique of Chiaroscuro to increase drama in paintings. He influenced a lot of other painters like Rembrandt, Rubens, Vélazquez, de La Tour, Gentileschi, De Ribera…
Did you know…?
- Caravaggio was notorious for brawling. Because he was a famous painter, his patrons protected him from being prosecuted.
- In 1606 he killed a man named Ranuccio Tomassoni
- The reasons for the killing are not clear. Some say it was result of a quarrel over a gambling debt and a tennis game
- This time his patrons couldn’t protect him anymore and he fled from Rome to Naples
- After being the most famous Roman painter, he now became the most famous painter from Naples
- Despite his succes, he left a few months later for Malta, to join the Knights of Malta
- Soon he was arrested again for another fight. He wounded a knight.
- He escaped from prison and fled to a friend in Sicily
- All of these events couldn’t stop him from creating masterpieces and his style kept evolving
- He became more and more bizarre: sleeping fully armed and with his clothes on, ripping up a painting at a slight word of criticism, mocking the local painters
- He died at the age of 39. Officially he died of fever. Some people say he was murdered.
- His influence on the history of art can hardly be exaggerated. Followers of his style are called Caravaggisti.