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Michelangelo Merisi

From Academic Kids

'Caravaggio' re-directs here; for alternate uses see Caravaggio (disambiguation)

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (September 28, 1573July 18, 1610), usually called Caravaggio after his hometown near Milan, was an Italian Baroque painter, whose large religious works portrayed saints and other biblical figures as ordinary people. Though his paintings were controversial in the church, the weathly people purchased them for their drama, their spectacular technical accomplishment, their startling originality, and even their brazen homoeroticism. Though his life (1571 -1610) nearly coincides with that of William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), their two worlds were distinctly different.

Supper at Emmaus, painted 1601.
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Supper at Emmaus, painted 1601.
Contents

Biography

Little is known about Caravaggio's artistic origins, or early work. He studied for several years with an obscure painter, Peterzano in Milan, to whom he was apprenticed at age 12 in 1584, but the earliest known work that can be reliably attributed to him dates from almost 10 years later, by which time he had likely been in Rome for several years. His whereabouts in the intervening period are uncertain, and accounts of his life written by near-contemporaries are unreliable on such details.

When Caravaggio finally arrived in Rome, he suffered the vicissitudes of an unattached young man from the provinces, unknown and unwelcomed, in the center of the Catholic world. After a few years working as an understudy in the studios of other painters, his genre paintings of young boys came to the attention of a group of ecclesiastics and businessman who were members of the Roman elite, and passionate collectors of art and artifacts. By day, he moved amongst this community, until his hasty and involuntary departure from Rome a decade later. This small group of patrons bought or paid for nearly all of the images for which Caravaggio is best known.

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Amor_Victorious.jpg
Amor Victorious
Eros shown prevailing over other human endeavors: war, music, science, government. (1602 - 1603) Oil on canvas, 156 x 113 cm; Staatliche Museen, Berlin.

The high point of Caravaggio's Roman period came in 1600, when the unveiling of his three life-sized paintings narrating the story of St. Matthew in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, brought him the acclaim of a continent-wide public, and assured his continuing fame. These paintings are still installed in place.

After his exile from Rome in 1606, his works were darker in mood and hastier in execution. Given the tumultous circumstances of his existence, that he continued to do remarkable works is in itself an achievement.

Notorious for his violence and brawling in his private life, even in a time and place when such behavior was commonplace, a transcripts of his police records and trial proceedings fills several pages.

Several violent incidents nearly ended in the Caravaggio's death, or his adversary, and certainly he owed his continuing freedom at least in part to the protection of his powerful patrons. But even his well-placed friends did not save Caravaggio from the police after a nightime battle between rival gangs led to the death of one of the participants, and in 1606 he left Rome for good. After further misadventures in the south of Italy, and more brilliant painting, he died in 1610 under disputed circumstances before a pardon from the pope could reach him.

His familiarity with the darker side of Roman life frequently appears in Caravaggio's work, and scenes of violence and struggle are common. Caravaggio's difficult and tempestuous nature contrasts with the extreme elegance and control of his work and his ability to charm and ingratiate himself with his aristocratic and clerical supporters, several of whom, most importantly Cardinal Del Monte, lodged him for extended periods in their homes.

The work of Caravaggio itself, represents the culmination of technical innovations begun 200 years earlier in the Renaissance, and towered over the work of his contemporaries in a way that sent shock waves throughout Europe.

The Caravaggisti

"The painters then in Rome were greatly taken by this novelty, and the young ones particularly gathered around him, praised him as the unique imitator of nature, and looked on his work as miracles. They outdid each other in imitating his works, undressing their models and raising their lights."
   —Giovanni Pietro Bellori, 1672.
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Cardsharps.jpg
The Cardsharps, (Kimbell Art Museum)

Caravaggio's innovations had great impact on painters of his generation and the generations that followed — his gritty realism, his choice of models, his theatrical lighting, his "night paintings"; the rich passages of still life; in short, he brought a revolution in art to fruition at a time when art was ripe for renewal.

A short list of artists who owe much to his stylistic breakthroughs includes his companion Orazio Gentileschi and his daughter Artemisia, the Frenchman Georges de La Tour, and the Spaniard Giuseppe Ribera.

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AndriesBothLicehunting.jpg
Hunting headlice by candlelight, by the Utrecht artist Andries Both (ca.1612-1641), about 1630: candlelit realism and peasant models. The work picks up the homoerotic insinuations of Caravaggio and raises them to the level of savage sarcasm, showing the young man with an inexplicably bared rear, and an old peasant behind him, his hands raised in a parody of prayer.

A group of Catholic artists from Utrecht, the "Utrecht Caravaggisti", travelled to Rome as students in the first years of the 17th century and were profoundly influenced by the work of Caravaggio, as Bellori describes. On their return to the north this trend had a short-lived but intense development in the 1620s among painters like Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerrit van Honthorst, Andries Both, and Dirck van Baburen. In the following generation less intense affects of Caravaggio are seen in the work of Rubens (whose time in Rome overlapped that of Caravaggio, and who purchased one of his paintings for the Gonzaga), Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Velazquez, who likely saw his work during his various sojourns in Italy.

Legacy

Many large museums of art, for example those in Detroit, and New York, contain rooms where dozens of paintings by as many artists display the characteristic look of the work of Caravaggio — nightime setting, dramatic lighting, ordinary people used as models, honest description from nature.

In modern times, contemporary painters like the Norwegian Odd Nerdrum and the Romanian Tibor Csernus make no secret of their attempts to emulate and update his work.

Major works

From the French - to be integrated

  • Nature morte avec fleurs et fruits (1590) - Huile sur toile, 105 x 184 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Garçon pelant un fruit (vers 1593) - Huile sur toile, 75.5 x 64.4 cm - Longhi Collection, Rome
  • Garçon avec un panier de fruits (1593) - Huile sur toile, 70 x 67 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Le jeune Bacchus malade (vers 1593) - Huile sur toile, 67 x 53 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Garçon mordu par un Lézard (1594) - Huile sur toile, 66 x 49.5 cm - National Gallery, London
  • L'extase de Saint François (1595) - Huile sur toile, 92.5 x 128.4 cm - Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford
  • Les Musiciens (1595 - 1596) - Huile sur toile, 92 x 118.5 cm - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Bacchus (vers 1596) - Huile sur toile, 95 x 85 cm - Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
  • Les joueurs de cartes (1596) - Huile sur toile, 90 x 112 cm - Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
  • Le joueur de luth (vers 1596) - Huile sur toile, 94 x 119 cm - Hermitage, Saint Petersburg
  • La diseuse de bonne aventure (1596) - Huile sur toile, 115 x 150 cm - Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • Le repos pendant la fuite en Égypte (1596 - 1597) - Huile sur toile, 133.5 x 166.5 cm - Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome
  • Sainte Madeleine (1596 - 1597) - Huile sur toile, 122.5 x 98.5 cm - Galleria Doria-Pamphilj, Rome
  • La diseuse de bonne aventure (1596 - 1597) - Huile sur toile, 99 x 131 cm - Pinacothèque capitoline, Rome
  • Panier de fruits (vers 1597) - Huile sur toile, 46 x 64 cm - Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan
  • Portrait d'une Courtisane (vers 1598) - Huile sur toile, 66 x 53 cm - Collection privée
  • Judith décapitant Holopherne (vers 1598) - Huile sur toile, 145 x 195 cm - Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
  • L'arrestation du Christ (vers 1598) - Huile sur toile, 133.5 x 169.5 cm - National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
  • Marthe et Marie Madeleine (vers 1598) - Huile sur toile, 97.8 x 132.7 cm - Institute of Arts, Detroit
  • Sainte Catherine d'Alexandrie (vers 1598) - Huile sur toile, 173 x 133 cm - Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid
  • Tête de Méduse (1598 - 1599) - Huile sur toile monté sur bois, 60 x 55 cm - Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
  • Narcisse (1598 - 1599) - Huile sur toile, 110 x 92 cm - Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
  • Jupiter, Neptune et Pluton (1597 - 1600) - Fresque au plafond, huile, 300 x 180 cm - Casino Boncompagni Ludovisi, Rome
  • Portrait de Maffeo Barberini (1599) - Huile sur toile, 124 x 99 cm - Collection privée
  • La Vocation de Saint Matthieu (1599 - 1600) - Huile sur toile, 323 x 343 cm - Chapelle Contarelli, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome
  • Le martyre de Saint Mathieu (1599 - 1600) - Huile sur toile, 323 x 343 cm - Chapelle Contarelli, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome
  • Le joueur de luth (vers 1600) - Huile sur toile, 100 x 126.5 cm - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • La conversion de Saint Paul (1600) - Huile sur bois de cyprès, 237 x 189 cm - Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome
  • La Conversion de Saint Paul sur le chemin de Damas (1600) - Huile sur toile, 230 x 175 cm - Chapelle Cerasi, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome
  • Le jeune Saint Jean-Baptiste au Bélier (1600) - Huile sur toile, 129 x 94 cm - Musei Capitolini, Rome
  • David (1600) - Huile sur toile, 110 x 91 cm - Museo del Prado, Madrid
  • La crucifiction de Saint Pierre (1600) - Huile sur toile, 230 x 175 cm - Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome
  • Le Sacrifice d'Isaac (1601 - 1602) - Huile sur toile, 104 x 135 cm - Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
  • Le souper à Emmaüs (1601 - 1602) - Huile sur toile, 139 x 195 cm - National Gallery, London
  • L'incrédulité de Saint Thomas (1601 - 1602) - Huile sur toile, 107 x 146 cm - Sanssouci, Potsdam
  • Saint Matthieu et l'ange (1602) - Huile sur toile, 232 x 183 cm - Détruite
  • L'inspiration de Saint Matthieu (1602) - Huile sur toile, 292 x 186 cm - Chapelle Contarelli, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome
  • Le couronnement d'épines (1602 - 1603) - Huile sur toile, 125 x 178 cm - Cassa di Risparmi, Prato
  • L'amour Victorieux (1602 - 1603) - Huile sur toile, 156 x 113 cm - Staatliche Museen, Berlin
  • La mise au tombeau (1602 - 1603) - Huile sur toile, 300 x 203 cm - Pinacoteca, Vatican
  • Le Christ au Jardin (1603) - Huile sur toile, 154 x 222 cm - Collection privée
  • Saint Jean-Baptiste (1603 - 1604) - Huile sur toile, 94 x 131 cm - Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
  • Saint Jean-Baptiste (1604) - Huile sur toile, 172.5 x 104.5 cm - Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
  • La Madonne des pèlerins (1603 - 1605) - Huile sur toile, 260 x 150 cm - S. Agostino, Rome
  • Le Sacrifice d'Isaac (1605) - Huile sur toile, 116 x 173 cm - Piasecka-Johnson Collection, Princeton
  • Saint Jérome (vers 1606) - Huile sur toile, 112 x 157 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Ecce Homo (vers 1606) - Huile sur toile, 128 x 103 cm - Palazzo Rosso, Gênes
  • Saint François (1606) - Huile sur toile, 125 x 93 cm - Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
  • Saint François (1606) - Huile sur toile, 190 x 130 cm - Pinacoteca, Cremona
  • La mort de la Vierge (1606) - Huile sur toile, 369 x 245 cm - Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • La Madonne au Serpent (1606) - Huile sur toile, 292 x 211 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Le Souper à Emaüs (1606) - Huile sur toile, 141 x 175 cm - Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
  • Le Christ à la colonne (vers 1607) - Huile sur toile, 134.5 x 175.5 cm - Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
  • La flagellation (vers 1607) - Huile sur toile, 390 x 260 cm - Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
  • Saint Jerome (1605 - 1606) - Huile sur toile, 118 x 81 cm - Monastère de Montserrat
  • David (1606 - 1607) - Huile sur bois, 90.5 x 116 cm - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienne
  • Salomé avec la tête de Saint Jean Baptiste (vers 1607) - Huile sur toile, 90.5 x 167 cm - National Gallery, London
  • La crucification de Saint André (1607) - Huile sur toile, 202.5 x 152.7 cm - Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
  • Les sept actes de miséricorde (1607) - Huile sur toile, 390 x 260 cm - Église Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples
  • La Madonne du rosaire (1607) - Huile sur toile, 364.5 x 249.5 cm - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienne
  • Saint Jérome (1607) - Huile sur toile, 117 x 157 cm - Saint John Cathedral, VallettaMalta
  • Saint Jean-Baptiste à la fontaine (1607 - 1608) - Huile sur toile, 100 x 73 cm - Collezione Bonello, Malta
  • Portrait d'Alof de Wignacourt (1607 - 1608) - Huile sur toile, 195 x 134 cm - Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • Portrait d'Alof de Wignacourt (1608) - Huile sur toile, 118.5 x 95.5 cm - Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence
  • La décapitation de Saint Jean Baptiste (1608) - Huile sur toile, 361 x 520 cm - Saint John Cathedral, Valletta Malta
  • L'enterrement de Sainte Lucy (1608) - Huile sur toile, 408 x 300 cm - Santa Lucia, Syracuse
  • L'Amour endormi (1608) - Huile sur toile, 71 x 105 cm - Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence
  • L'arracheur de dents (1607 - 1609) - Huile sur toile, 139.5 x 194.5 cm - Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
  • La résurrection de Lazarre (1608-1609) - Huile sur toile, 380 x 275 cm - Museo Nazionale, Messina
  • L'Annonciation (1608 - 1609) - Huile sur toile, 285 x 205 cm - Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy
  • La Nativité avec Saint François et Saint Laurent (1609) - Huile sur toile, 268 x 197 cm - Perdue
  • L'adoration des mages (1609) - Huile sur toile, 314 x 211 cm - Museo Nazionale, Messina
  • David (1609) - Huile sur toile, 125 x 101 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Salomé avec la tête de Saint Jean Baptiste (1609) - Huile sur toile, 116 x 140 cm - Palazzo Real, Madrid
  • Le reniement de Saint Pierre (1610) - Huile sur toile, 94 x 125 cm - Shickman Gallery, New York
  • Saint Jean-Baptiste (1610) - Huile sur toile, 159 x 124 cm - Galleria Borghese, Rome
  • Le Martyre de Saint Ursule (1610) - Huile sur toile, 154 x 178 cm - Banca Commerciale Italiana, Naples
  • Saint Jean Baptiste (?) - Huile sur toile, 102.5 x 83 cm - Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel
  • Le Couronnement d'épines (?) - Huile sur toile, 165.5 x 127 cm - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

See also

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Further reading

External links

de:Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio es:Caravaggio fr:Le Caravage it:Caravaggio (pittore) mt:Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio nl:Caravaggio ja:ミケランジェロ・メリージ pl:Caravaggio sv:Caravaggio

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