Today (semptember, 29) is the birthday of beloved Italian artist, Michelangelo Merisi, more often referred to by the name of his native town, Caravaggio. The Baroque painter, known for his extreme naturalism and dramatic use of chiaroscuro, would turn 441 years old if he were still magically alive today. Caravaggio began his career at the age of 21 when he moved to Rome, Italy’s haven for budding artists eager to study the wealth of classical architecture and masterpieces housed there. Though his few first years in the city proved difficult, forcing the artist to peddle still lifes and half length figures on the streets, by 1595 the young painter found his niche. He joined the patronage circle of eminent Cardinal Francesco del Monte, a move that afforded him a number of public commissions and almost instant celebrity.
Art admirers were taken by the painter’s theatrical lighting and stirring facial expressions. His attention to the physicality of his subjects, elevated through his mastery of tenebrism, was a practice not often seen in Baroque painters of the period. Works like “The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew” and “The Calling of Saint Matthew” solidified the fiery artist’s place in history, catapulting ….. READ MORE ON THE HUFFPOST ART&CULTURE