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He started his artistic training in 1584 for four years under Simone Peterzano before moving to Rome to pursue his artistic career.
He led a violent life and was well known by the police on accounts of assaults and stabbing. In 1606, he killed a man and fled. He eventually ended up n Naples in 1607, where he was received by the Grand Master of the Order of S. John, and given the lowest rank of Knight of Grace. He was expelled from the order after attacking an officer of higher rank. Upon his return to Maples, he ended up in a fight that left him disfigured. He was mistakenly reported dead in that riot but made it out safely. He left Maples, once again, for Port' Ercole and was mistakenly taken prisoner aboard a Spanish ship. He was released, only to find that his possessions were taken. He died of malaria, shortly afterwards, in 1610.
Caravaggio is one of the most influential artists of the Baroque movement. After he finished his training under Simone Peterzano, he began to work on realistic images of subjects that used to be portrayed through a more ideal perspective. The appearance of such highly regarded figures in religion resembling so closely to everyday people was very new. His earlier paintings were genre-based, but unlike the images of the past, he had a strikingly real style that shocked the critics. His commissioned paintings were rejected and he was condemned by religious authorities.
His work arguably reflects the revolutionary changes in religion at the time. Historically speaking, his was the time of Martin Luther, and the Protestant Reformation. Thus as religion changed, so did the portrayal of religion through art.
Caravaggio's style is one that defines the Baroque movement-intense and dramatic light, a lot of tension, and deep hues. A painting that is "Caravaggioesque" not only possess these characteristics but also characteristics involving technique. Caravaggio and his followers are careful to blend in the shades, and they keep all the lines clean and solids making the form seem more rounded and three-dimensional. This is the opposite of the smoky effect sometimes used by artists during the High Renaissance.
Calling of Saint Matthews
Conversion of St. Paul