Caravaggio

Born: 5 June 1587
Dead: 18 July 1610
In: Porto Ercole, GR, Italia


Short description:

He was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily from the early 1590s to 1610.
His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting.
Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism.
He made the technique a dominant stylistic element, darkening shadows and transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light.
Caravaggio vividly expressed crucial moments and scenes, often featuring violent struggles, torture and death.
He worked rapidly, with live models, preferring to forgo drawings and work directly onto the canvas.
His influence on the new Baroque style that emerged from Mannerism was profound.
It can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Rembrandt, and artists in the following generation heavily under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques", as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi ("shadowists").
In the 20th century interest in his work revived, and his importance to the development of Western art was reevaluated.
The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy stated, "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting."


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