Mercurial, saturnine, scandalous, and unpredictable, Caravaggio—as a man, as a character, and as an artist—holds dramatic appeal.
He spent a large part of his life on the run, leaving a trail of illuminated chaos wherever he passed, most of it recorded in criminal justice records. When he did settle for long enough to paint, he produced works of staggering creativity and technical innovation.
He was famous throughout Italy for his fulminating temper, but also for his radical and sensitive humanization of biblical stories, and in particular his decision to include the brutal and dirty life of the street in his paintings. Caravaggio was a rebel and a violent man, but he eyed the world with deep empathy, realism, and an unrelenting honesty.
About the Author
Annabel Howard is the author of This is Kandinsky (2015) and Art Visionaries (with Mark Getlein, 2016). She has degrees in art history and biographical writing, and has taught and lectured in museums throughout the United Kingdom and Italy.
Iker Spozio is an illustrator, engraver, and painter who lives and works in Spain. His work has been featured in international publications such as Le Monde and Il Corriere della Sera.