Bild ottavio leoni, caravaggio

Caravaggio: the master of chiaroscuro

  • 1571

    Birth of Caravaggio

    Birth of Caravaggio
    Milan - Italy: Michelangelo Merisi was born in Milan.
    The once independent and rich city state of Milan belonged to the extremely powerful Spanish Empire of the Hapsburg House since 1525. The Emperor was Philip II. Michelangelo was the son of a household administrator and architect-decorator to the marquess of Caravaggio. He had four siblings. His family had connections with the principal families of Sforza and of Colonna. Caravaggio's life
  • 1576

    'Black Death' ravages Milan

    'Black Death' ravages Milan
    The Black Death was a bubonic plague pandemic which began in 1348 and ended in the mid 18th century. It had three major outbreaks in Italy and decimated the population down to its 1/3. It contributed to contributed to the decline of Italy's economy.
  • 1577

    Michelangelo becomes orphan

    Michelangelo becomes orphan
    • At the age of 5, Michelangelo and his siblings become orphans because his father, uncles, cousins and all other adult male relatives of his family die during the plague.
    • Boy Michelangelo witnesses horrible scenes of death along every street of Milan while people and clergy parade with icons and holy relics praying for divine help.
    • The Catholic Church accounted human sins for the plague outbreak.
  • Period: 1577 to

    Childhood in extreme poverty and orphanage

    During these years, Caravaggio's mother had to raise alone all of her five children with out any support but from the local church. Young Michelangelo became a willful character who needed to fight to survive every day.
  • Death of Caravaggio's mother

    Death of Caravaggio's mother
    Exhausted by a life of illness and poverty, Caravaggio's mother dies and all his siblings are sent to foster families. As he is the eldest, and has shown hints of artistic talent he is spared.
  • Period: to

    Apprenticeship under Simone Peterzano

    After the death of his mother, young Michelangelo started receiving initial training as painter under Simone Peterzano who was a rather famous Italian Mannerist painter in Milan. Peterzano called himself a pupil of Titian. He did not pay good attention to young Michelangelo but started calling him with the nickname 'Michelangelo da Caravaggio' meaning 'Michelangelo coming from Caravaggio'. This remained a staple surname for the artist for ever in his life.
  • Move to Rome

    Move to Rome
    Caravaggio left Milan for Rome in flight after "certain quarrels" and the wounding of a police officer. The young artist arrived in Rome "naked and extremely needy... without fixed address and without provision... short of money."
  • Period: to

    Beginnings in Rome - Living with 'Monsignor Insalata'

    During this period, he had to stay with the miserly Pandolfo Pucci who served young Caravaggio with salads and food remnants every day. The artist hated this diet that left him always hungry and called Mr. Pucci "Monsignor Insalata"!
  • At the studio of Cavaliere Giuseppe Cesari

    At the studio of Cavaliere Giuseppe Cesari
    Caravaggio starts working in Cavaliere Cesari 's art studio. Giuseppe Cesari was the favourite artist of Pope Pope Clement VIII who commissioned him with important artistic works.
    Caravaggio gradually develops a new style of painting which is characterized by radical naturalism: it shows images of people and events as they are physically. He observes everything closely and lights them in a special dramatic even theatrical way.
  • Boy peeling fruits

    Boy peeling fruits
  • Boy with a Basket of Fruit

    Boy with a Basket of Fruit
  • Young Sick Bacchus

    Young Sick Bacchus
  • Cardsharps

    Here a pair of two young men are playing cards while a third one is standing by. The man on the left is richly dressed while the cardsharp, keeps extra cards tucked in his belt behind his back. These can be seen only by the viewers. The latter is peering over the shoulder of one in the pair so to signal the cards to his young accomplice. Their clothes are ....
    The colour in the painting are ....
  • Fortune Teller

    Fortune Teller

    Caravaggio adopts a dark, gloomy, mysterious illumination for his paintings where there are violent contrasts of light and dark, and where darkness becomes a dominating feature of the image. The paintings seem to receive light from a spot outside the painting either on the left or on the right of the scene.
  • Portrait of a Prelate

    Portrait of a Prelate
  • Boy Bitten by a Lizard

    Boy Bitten by a Lizard
  • Basket of Fruit

    Basket of Fruit
  • Medusa

    It is a 'rondo' situated in Gallery Uffizi in Florence, Italy. It is painted with oil colors on canvas mounted on wood. This bizarre design displays Caravaggio's fascination both with violence and realism. At that time, Caravaggio hit a milestone in his life as he started receiving important commissions and incorporated more realism in his artworks. Medusa was an ancient monster in Greek mythology.
  • Saint Catherine of Alexandria

    Saint Catherine of Alexandria
  • David with the Head of Goliath

    David with the Head of Goliath
  • Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

    Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
  • The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula

    The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula
  • Death of Caravaggio

    Caravaggio died sick and abandoned at Porto Ercole, near Grosseto in Tuscany. He was being hunted and killed by a wealthy family as a vendetta for having killed a member of them. However, he may also have been slowly poisoned by the lead incorporated in his paints through the years of his career. You may watch the video Caravaggio, The Artist Who Died For His Art
  • David with the Head of Goliath

    David with the Head of Goliath
    It is in the Galleria Borghese, Rome. Caravaggio captures the drama effectively having the head dangling from David's hand and dripped out blood. The sword in David's hand carries a Latin inscription that reads "humility kills pride". Caravaggio has depicted himself as Goliath! Why? Watch this video.