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Michelangelo Merisi o Amerighi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571? – 18 July? 1610)
was an Italian artist
active in Rome, Naples, Malta,
and Sicily between 1592 (1595?) and 1610.
His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional,
with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano
who had himself trained underTitian.
In his twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where, during the late 16th and early 17th centuries,
many huge new churches and palazzos were being built and paintings were needed to fill them.
During the Counter-Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church searched for religious art with
which to counter the threat of Protestantism, and for this task the artificial conventions of Mannerism,
which had ruled art production for some time after the Renaissance, no longer seemed adequate.
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