Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, ‘The Denial of Saint Peter’, 1610, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Image rights: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Gift of Herman and Lila Shickman, and Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1997), licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal

About Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Baroque painter Caravaggio (born Michelangelo Merisi in the town of Caravaggio, just ouside Milan) is best known for his bold, realistic style and the dramatic expression of his striking compositions—from the severed heads of Goliath and snaked-hair Medusa to sensual bacchanal youths to overflowing bowls of glistening fruit and flowers. Contrasting light and shadow using a technique called chiaroscuro, Caravaggio infused his works, like The Calling of St Matthew (1599-1600), with such visual and psychological intensity and energy that the forms seem to burst from the picture plane. Caravaggio’s realism and chiaroscuro technique made a lasting impression on generations of artists, including Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez and Murillo.

Italian, 1571-1610, Caravaggio, Italy, based in Rome, Italy and Naples, Italy