Refine your search:
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Art Prints and Posters
The Ronnie Biggs of the Baroque and cheeky chappy of chiaroscuro, Michelangelo Merisi, was born at Caravaggio near Milan but decided to rename himself after his home village for PR and image reasons. After being orphaned aged 11 (he lived in careless times!) he was apprenticed to a Milanese artist but took a walk down a road, which surprisingly led to Rome.
When Caravaggio was 24, esteemed holy person (and C16 fruit juice tycoon) Cardinal Francesco del Monte, commissioned him to decorate the walls of the Contarelli Chapel with scenes depicting some of the more exciting moments from the life of St Mathew. These brilliant pics didn't go down a bundle with the snooty 'Pope'-pourri of Rome because upstart Caravaggio had had the temerity to populate them with 'ordinary people' (and, as everyone knows, the Bible is inhabited exclusively by posh folk).
Due to a feisty temperament and a shortage of readily available anger management classes, Caravaggio divided the rest of his life between creating arresting images and being arrested, finally wasting an opponent in a tiff over tennis and being forced to do a runner from Rome to Naples. With 'inter-pope' hot on his heels (to pardon or punish him) he next fled to Malta and Sicily, executing some of his greatest works (but no more chums) as he did. After a mix-up involving the plods (what's new) he was arrested again and bunged in chokey for a couple of days.
Finally, just as he was on the point of returning to Rome and a pardon, the (short-sighted?) boatman supposed to be ferrying him there took only his clothes, leaving Caravaggio on the beach and feeling so cheesed off by fate and malaria that he collapsed and died. Who'd be a dysfunctional genius?Copyright Michael Cox