Biography of Caravaggio .

  • Birth Date : 1571-09-29
  • Death Date : 1610-07-18
  • Birth Place: Milano, Italy
  • Death Place: Tuscany,Italy
  • Occupation : Painter
  • Gender : Male


Caravaggio, the first great artist of the Baroque art movement, influenced the artists after him. His works were considered to be capable of revolutionizing the art world.

Caravaggio was born in Milan, Italy on September 29, 1571. His real name is Michelangelo Amerighi or Merisi. He was born in Caravaggio, near Milan, Lombardy, where he gained fame for his name. His father worked as an architect and decorator under Francesco Sforza, Marquis of Fermo Merisi, Caravaggio. His mother, Lucia Aratori, is from a lower-ranking aristocratic family. The family settles in the town of Caravaggio during the plague epidemic in Milan, but soon after, when Caravaggio was 11 years old, his father lost his life.

Caravaggio began life as a worker. He learned to paint on his own, without taking any lessons. At the age of twelve, he entered the workshop of Simone Peterzano, a student of Titian, in Milan, where he trained as an apprentice dec 1584-1588. During his apprenticeship, he learned the art of painting in Lombardy, bearing the marks of artists such as Lorenzo Lotto, Leonardo da Vinci and Girolamo Savoldo. This style, in which scenes from everyday life, color and shade are depicted in a simple and realistic language, and night paintings are made, formed the basis for Caravaggio's original style.

Caravaggio went to Rome in 1588 and studied with the knight of Arpino. from 1590 to 1599 he decorated the capella of Saint Mathieu of the French church of Saint Louis des Fran├žais in Rome. Then he studied at the churches of the Madonna del Topolo and Saint Agostino. His life was quite noisy, as he was an extremely quick-tempered person.

Caravaggio's painting The Boy Carrying the Fruit Basket, which he began making in the fall of 1592, is a work of Caravaggio made when he had just arrived in Rome and was relatively unknown in the art world. The model in the picture is Caravaggio's friend Mario Minniti, who was 16 at the time. In the future, she will model for him in many of his paintings. Black and Yesil grapes, apples, pears, apricots, figs, grapes and pomegranates, pears, fruit of a bouquet of foliage and impressive, curly hair left to its own devices, a young man with beady eyes and light lips interleaved with a passionate expression, it's like it puts into one basket. Caravaggio's painting, made using the cellar light technique called cellar, consists of contrasting light fields.

Picture of a Child Carrying a Fruit Basket, Date: 1593, Original Size: 70 x 67 cm

It is his accusation of a quarrel or murder that obliged Caravaggio to leave Milan for Rome in 1588. From the first teenage years, he is a quarrelsome and peculiar character. As he gets older and faces difficulties in his career, he turns into an even more restless and unstable personality. In his early years in Rome, it is almost impossible to create a road map that tracks the places where he stayed. He constantly changes houses and seems to be unable to get comfortable with any of the hosts with his hands open. Caravaggio's early days in Rome are spent among unemployed painters, sculptors and stone decoupageers from Milan. First, he gets a job next to an unknown artist named Lorenzo Siciliano. Caravaggio's first boss, the priest Pandolfo Pucci, to whom he copied religious paintings in exchange for a place to stay and food, lives in a palace in the Campo Marzio district. The artist does not stay here for a long time, he returns to the streets again. He suffers from a severe illness, his condition is hopeless, but he recovers after six months. These days, he paints his first personal portrait, A Patient Bacchus. However, Caravaggio, who was treated for a serious ailment in his leg during the time he was working on this work, concealed his injured leg, although he reflected the physical pain he was experiencing on the model's face. In this painting, he will also apply the feature of showing a half figure of the Lombardy painting art that he has applied in the paintings that he will do later. Experts agree that this melancholic painting is a self-portrait of the painter. He placed his own opposite in the title role of this work, which we can look at as Dionysus (the Greek god of wine) or Jesus.

In his painting Cheaters, two young people standing opposite each other at a table are actually the same person, but they reflect opposite characters. This deceiver, leaning on the gaming table with one hand, pulls out a fake card from his belt behind him with the other hand. While the third person next to the teenager is looking at the numbers of the cards, he makes three marks with his fingers on his friend. Ragged gloves allow you to recognize cards that are not an indicator of poverty, but a sign. There are more than 30 copies of this picture.

His painting is called Cheaters

It is at this time that the style of Caravaggio, which he observed in Rome and depicted with great realism, in which human figures occupy the foreground of the painting, appears. In his paintings, he reflects ordinary people, the poor, prostitutes, whose body is deformed from severe working conditions, with all its realism, without idealizing their clothes, facial expressions and body. The melancholic atmosphere that dominates these works will intensify as the artist's life progresses.

His painting "The Suspicion of St. Thomas", Date: 1601

His painting "The Descent of Jesus from the Cross and His Burial", which is in the Vatican Museum, is one of his most famous works. Also in the Louvre Museum "Gypsy Woman" at the museum Belvedere in Vienna "Scattered Beads"le in Berlin "Cupido" in the Uffizi museum "Dionisos" are considered among the masterpieces. Caravaggio is considered the pioneer of realistic painting in the modern sense today.

His painting "The Descent of Jesus from the Cross and His Burial", Date: 1602-1603

Caravaggio got into trouble again in 1606. He was forced to leave Rome. On May 28, 1606, during a fight, he kills Ranuccio Tomassoni, the gang leader of one of the slums of Rome. He flees Rome to avoid being sentenced to death, which is the equivalent of his crime. It is noted that the fight broke out because of a tennis match, but it is believed that the main reason was a woman. The fact that Caravaggio received two heavy blows to the head during the fight could have turned the incident into self-defense, but because of the artist's fluffy criminal record, influential acquaintances who covered up his previous events cannot close this incident. Colonna goes to Naples with her family. Then after 8 months he left for Malta. He makes paintings for Alof de Vignacourt, the leader of the Knights of Malta. Vignacourt is so pleased with the artist's work that he knocks him out. His quiet days in Malta last about five months. He was imprisoned as a result of a fight in Malta. In late August 1608, in a major fight with the Knights of Malta, one of the knights was seriously injured and Caravaggio was arrested. This leads to a desire of the Knights of Malta for revenge, which will last until the death of Caravaggio. He escaped from the dungeon in which he was confined, most likely with the help of Alof de Vignacourt.

Caravaggio crossed to Sicily in 1608, made important paintings in Siracusa, Messina and Palermo. These include the Burial of the patron saint of Sicily, Saint Lucy, the Resurrection of Lazarus and the Decease of the Shepherds. He is concerned that he is being followed in Sicily by the Knights of Malta. Sources describing Caravaggio in Sicily cite him as a person who behaved strangely, slept in his everyday clothes and with a gun, smashed his own painting with a sword in a small criticism, despised local painters.

Thinking that the safest place for him is the family of his guardian Colonna in Naples, which will ensure his pardon by the Papacy, he returns to Naples after nine months. in 1609, news reaches Rome that he died in a fight in Naples. Attacked outside a tavern, he is left on the street mortally wounded, treated and healed along with a deep scar that deforms his face. It is believed that this attack was organized by the Knights of Malta.

During his days in Naples, he sends himself a picture of Salome Holding the Head of John the Baptist, in which he reinterprets the patron saint of knights, John the Baptist, in order to ask forgiveness from Alof de Vignacourt, who had always been kind to him in Malta and had protected him. The severed head of John the Baptist in this painting is the same period as the severed head of David and Goliath in the painting, the severed head of Goliath is his own portrait. In the painting David and Goliath, the head of Goliath, which he made as a self-portrait, evokes the death sentence imposed on him. The artist considers himself a sinner, reflects on his remorse and desire for forgiveness. This painting is the most revolutionary iconographic interpretation of a subject taken from the Bible. Caravaggio symbolizes sin, and David, who killed him, symbolizes the prophet Jesus, the Prophet. The representative of Jesus on earth asks the Pope for forgiveness.

His painting "David with the Head of Goliath", Date: 1609-1610

In her last work, The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, Saint Ursula, pictured at the moment she was shot with an arrow in the chest, greets death with a calm attitude. Caravaggio's strong light-shadow effect in his other paintings has been replaced by the hazy dark brown tones of Venetian painting in this painting. An impressive stylistic change is noticeable in the artist's recent paintings made in Sicily and Naples. Instead of a strong light illuminating large surfaces, a dead, lifeless light has come to partially illuminate important points. The black color that dominates the whole picture has turned into brown, which also infects the figures and gives the impression that they have come out of the ground, hiding the details. A peculiar ambiguity and darkness prevail in the paintings. The sad and melancholy atmosphere in all of Caravaggio's paintings is felt more intensely.

in the summer of 1610, in the hope of being pardoned by the Papacy, he boards a ship bound for Rome. When the ship docks at the port of Palo, he is forcibly disembarked and imprisoned by the Papal guards. It is also believed that this incident was a trap of the Knights of Malta. He is released two days later, but the ship has already set sail with the artist's paintings and belongings. Caravaggio reaches Porto Ercole by walking 200 kilometers through a marshy area in order to catch the ship. He is found unconscious on the beach and taken to the hospital.

He died of malaria on 18 July 1610 in Porto Ercole, Tuscany, Italy, at the age of 39, while returning to Rome. Ten days later, the official letter arrived that he had been forgiven by the Papacy, which he had been waiting for so long.

Caravaggio, one of the Baroque artists, influenced the artists after him. His works were considered to be capable of revolutionizing the art world. Apart from the works he created with extreme realism, he also made religious paintings with emotional expression. He illustrated his observations of nature in detail, innovated the use of light, preferred to give a strong light from a single source to a dark area.