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  • Topic: Caravaggio, San Luigi dei Francesi, Milan
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  • Published : January 14, 2007
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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born 28th September 1571 in Milan Italy. He was a dynamic painter whose vibrant artist techniques of tenebrism and dramatic realism caused uproar throughout his career. He is known today as one of the most innovative artists of his time.

Caravaggio's father, Fermo Merisi was a known to be an architect/decorator to the local merchants. His mother, Lucia Aratori was the daughter of a baker and came from a well established family within the same region. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague which ravaged Milan. Caravaggio's father died in Milan in 1577.

In 1584 he was apprenticed for four years to the painter Simone Peterzano of Milan, and worked on his technical proficiency. In 1588 arrived in Rome, he arrived in Rome, naked and tremendously deprived. Now in possession of exceptional dexterity, he began to work as an assistant to other painters, particularly with lesser skill. Caravaggio began to work for Giuseppe Cesari, a highly established painter. It was here that Caravaggio painted a Boy with a Basket of Fruit, Young Sick Bacchus.

Caravaggio left Cesari in January 1594, now resolute to paint fully. He was known to take models of the street and paint them realistically. In 1595, He began to sell his paintings through a dealer. He sold of his first paintings, The Cardsharps for partially nothing, but attracted the attention of Cardinal Francesco Del Monte. Caravaggio came under protection of Del Monte, and was invited to board in the house of the cardinal.

After years of practicing, in 1597 he obtained the commission for decoration of the Contarelli Chapel of San Luigi Dei Francesi in Rome. This move by the church gave Caravaggio the highly regarded title of ‘renowned painter.' His paintings in the church triggered a new consciousness in Rome, and commemorated a revolutionary change. This was a turning point for Caravaggio; he found his voice and began painting only religious and...
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