Caravaggio - a realistic religious painter
Originally named Michelangelo de Merisi, Caravaggio was an Italian artist, born on September 29, 1571, in Milan or Caravaggio. He lived a life full of controversies and influences. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio, a small village in east Milan, to escape a plague, but lost both of his parents in the same year and became an orphan.
There is not much known about Caravaggio's early family life. His father, Fermo Merisi, was the architect and steward of the Marquis of Caravaggio. When Caravaggio was five, both his parents and the whole family perished in the bubonic plague, because of which he became all alone and violent. His childhood followed many traumatic events that caused him a bad temper and a feeling of abandonment.
Life as an artist
In 1584 his started his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano and soon became familiar with the art treasures of Milan, including The Last Supper by Leonardo Di Vinci. His paintings had a great value for simplicity and great focus on the naturalistic details.
In 1592 he left Milan for Rome after some quarrels in harming a police officer. The young artist arrived in Rome in no place to live and started performing hackwork for Giuseppe Cesare, the favorite artist of Pope Clement VIII. He painted flowers and fruits in his workshop; some included Boy with a Basket of Fruit and Self-Portrait as Bacchus (also called Sick Bacchus), but this appointment ended soon due to serious illness.
Though his career was really short, he was one of the most famous artists of Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Caravaggio had a unique painting technique named tenebrism, where he used shadow to emphasize the lighter areas. Some of his masterpieces are 'The Calling of Saint Matthew,' 'Doubting Thomas,' which is also known as 'The Incredulity of Saint Thomas,' 'Bacchus,' 'The Fortune Teller,' 'David with the Head of Goliath' and 'Head of Medusa.' His works reflected his rebellious nature and the drama and turmoil he faced in his life.
His life was troubled. He never married neither had any children. Caravaggio had a fever at the time of death and got killed, it seems, but it is still a mystery and controversy.