Caravaggio

The Inspiration of Baroque Style

      Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter who worked in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His style heavily influenced Baroque paintings with its physically and emotionally realistic human figures and use of lighting. Caravaggio moved from Italy to Rome in his twenties because of the demand for paintings in a style other than the artificial Mannerism style. The church drove this demand as part of the Counter Reformation. Caravaggio developed a distinct style, a combination of heavy use of chiaroscuro and close physical observation. Chiaroscuro, also known as tenebrism, is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark. Because of the chiaroscuro Caravaggio's paintings appear to be scenes in total darkness which have suddenly been lit by a spot light. His first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew, were great successes which brought him many more commissions throughout his career.

     Although his art was successful, his personal affairs were not. He was arrested on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, had a death warrant issued for him by the pope, and was involved in many fights. He ultimately died under suspicious circumstances while on his way to Rome to accept a pardon. Caravaggio's paintings helped shift the art world from Mannerism to the Baroque style. His influence can be seen in the works of Rubens, Berini, Rembrandt, and the artists of the following generation, the "Caravaggisti" or "Shadowists".      

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2 years ago
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Thought provoking....makes me want to learn more....why was he arrested

2 years ago
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I like how your collage has a black backdrop. It really brings out the technique you describe as tenebrism, as if Caravaggio himself was using it on one of his paintings!

2 years ago
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I like your choice for the center piece of the collage; the look on the man's face is intriguing. The collection of expressions among all the subjects represents a broad range of human emotions and each one invokes a desire to learn more about the subject.

2 years ago
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I did not know that he committed so many crimes. That was interesting to learn about.

2 years ago
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Ya there's some really cool information that I didn't even know. Nice job!

2 years ago
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I like the focal point very much, it really draws you in. Also got to learn some new things in your description, awesome job!

2 years ago
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If you research even more, you'll find out he was a "crazy" genius - but weren't they all?

2 years ago
1

Many of his pictures seem to have very high detail in the eyes that really draws you in. Neat collage!

2 years ago
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I love the paintings you chose to make this collage! Plus, your paragraph really provides some key knowledge into what inspired much of them! Great work!

2 years ago
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The pictures you chose really helped to bring his style to life for the reader. It would have been interesting to see more about the suspicious circumstances surrounding the event of his death. Overall, this is a really nice and well thought out piece.