Michelangelo Marisi da Caravaggio (Milan, 28 September 1571 – Porto Erco, 18 July 1610) was an Italian artist who lived between Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. He is considered a teacher of the Baroque school.

Caravaggio’s life has been described as enigmatic, fascinating, rebellious and dangerous. He entered the Roman art scene in 1600 and has never had a shortage of orders since then and was very concerned about his success. The earliest notice of him, dated 1604, describes his lifestyle as “after two weeks of work, one or two months with a sword and a servant, he went from one court to the next.” “And he came, he was always ready for a fight or an argument, so it was very difficult to get along with him.” In 1606, Caravaggio killed a young man in a fight and fled Rome for a reward. There was another conflict in Malta in 1608, and also in Naples in 1609, until he was killed suspiciously by unknown enemies the following year.


Patient Bacchus

Patient Bacchus was completed around 1593. This portrait depicts Bacchus, the Roman wine god. According to Caravaggio’s first biographer, Giovanni Baglione, the work is a ceramic piece created with the help of a mirror. This work is from the first years of Caravaggio in Rome, after his arrival from his birthplace Milan in 1592.. Sources say that at this time Caravaggio became ill and spent six months in the Santa Maria della Consular Hospital, possibly suffering from a disease such as malaria. , Which describes the yellow appearance of the skin and the patch in the eye, as depicted in the bacchus.

This painting shows the artist’s ability to combine three genres with one canvas: portrait, classical theme and inanimate nature. Apart from the biographical content, this painting was probably used by Caravaggio to improve his various skills, and shows his virtue in painting genres such as still life and portraiture, and refers to his ability to paint classical elements of antiquity. The three-quarter angle of the face was a popular custom in late Renaissance illustration, although some art historians saw Caravaggio’s conception of a sick bacchus as a sign that classical art was flawed and that the artist preferred naturalism (with beautiful details of lifeless peaches and grapes). In the background of the painting).

In his later works, these natural figures, such as a boy with a fruit basket and a boy bitten by a lizard, can be compared to other works, where the fruits are in a much better condition and undoubtedly show the improvement of Caravaggio’s health. . The painting also shows the influence of his current master, Bergamasque Simon Petrazano, in depicting Lombard’s muscle and rigid school with attention to realistic detail.

The work is now housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, and was one of many works by Giuseppe Cesari, one of Caravaggio’s early employers.



The musicians, completed around 1595, were the first Caravaggio paintings to be made explicitly in support of Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte. The canvas depicts four boys in traditional costumes, three of whom play and sing with different musical instruments, while the fourth boy, dressed in a cupid costume, wears the god of love and walks towards a grape. Caravaggio seems to have made this painting of two faces. The main character with the oud is known as Caravaggio’s companion, Mario Miniti, and the person next to him and facing the viewer is probably Caravaggio’s self-portrait. Cupid bears a striking resemblance to the youth in Boy Peeling Fruit, which was completed a few years ago and is now recognized as the first surviving work by Caravaggio.

Boy Peeling Fruit

The manuscripts show that the boys practicing Madrigal celebrate love, and the oud player’s eyes, the main face, are wet with tears, because the songs probably describe the sadness of love rather than its pleasures. The violin in the background describes the fifth participant, who may implicitly include the viewer in the painting. At that time, when the church supported the revival of music and new styles and forms were created, especially by educated and progressive clergy like Del Monte, who supported the church. The scene is depicted, clearly secular rather than religious and inspired by the ancient tradition of “concert” imagery, a genre that originated in Venice and is modeled on Titian’s Le Concert Champter.

Beheading Holofrens by Judith

Completed in 1599, this large canvas is from the mystical-Oriental book of Judith, which shows how the widow Judith was saved by killing Holofrens (the Assyrian general). In the book, Judith seduces Holofrens, encourages her to drink wine and get drunk, and then leads her to her tent: “He approached her bed, grabbed her hair and said, Strengthen me, O LORD God of Israel: and he smote him twice upon the neck with all his might, and cut off his head.

The beheading of Holofrens was a popular theme in medieval art, depicted by Donatello, Botticelli, Giorgione, and Lucas Cranach the Great, as well as many others. Caravaggio decided to approach the subject from the most dramatic moment in the story, the act of beheading. This figure is located in a narrow area and is shown lightly from the left and darkened in the background. Judith with her old maid, Ebra, who is amazingly wrinkled on her forehead and anxiously to the right

Standing, displayed. Judith is standing on Holofernes, leaning back slightly to indicate that her work is unpleasant. More recently, X-rays have shown that Caravaggio adjusts the position of the holofernes head, detaching it slightly from the trunk, and moving it slightly to the right. The faces of these three characters show the artist’s dominance over emotions, especially Judith’s face shows a masterful combination of determination and disgust.


This 1598 painting, now housed in the National Gallery de Arte Antica in Rome, was attributed to Caravaggio in 1916 by Roberto Langi. Narcissus is one of only two known works by Caravaggio on a subject of classical mythology (the other being Bacchus), although several other works may have been lost. The story of Narcissus is told by the Roman poet Ovid in the epic poem Metamorphoses and is about a beautiful young man who falls in love with his reflection in the water. Unable to disassociate himself, he dies of lust, and even continues to look at his own reflection as he crosses the Styx (the river of the dead from where Roman mythology flows into the land of the dead). The story was well known in collectors’ circles, such as Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte and banker Vincenzo Giustiniani, during which Caravaggio was at its height.

Caravaggio depicts a young man dressed beautifully, leaning towards the water with both hands, looking at his reflection. This image conveys a melancholy image, because the shape of the narcissus is locked in a circle with its reflection, and is surrounded by darkness that seems to be unable to end. Even her face is hidden in the shadow of the viewer and emphasizes the loss of Narcissus reality.

Invitation of St. Matthew

This painting is considered one of Caravaggio’s masterpieces, it shows the moment when Christ commands Matthew the Apostle to follow him. This work was painted for the Contarelli Church in 1600 and was completed in the French Cathedral, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it still remains, along with two other Caravaggio paintings by Mathieu, the martyrdom of St. Mathieu and inspiration. From St. Matthew.

More than a decade before the painting was completed, Cardinal Matthew Quintrell had left his will and special instructions for decorating a chapel based on St. Matthew themes. The dome of the church was decorated with murals by the late artist Cavalier D’Arpino, Caravaggio’s former employer and one of Rome’s most popular painters at the time. However, because D’Arpino was too supportive of the monarchy and the pope, Caravaggio’s Cardinal Francesco del Monte intervened to acquire the young artist.

This painting depicts the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 9: 9): “Jesus saw a man named Matthew in his seat in the inn and said to him, ‘Follow me,'” and Matthew rose and became his disciple. . ” Caravaggio depicts Matthew the Redeemer sitting at a table with four other men. As Jesus refers directly to Matthew, the artist has chosen the most dramatic moment in the story, when Christ and St. Peter enter the room. A ray of light illuminates the faces of the men behind the table who look at Christ in amazement.

There is debate as to which of the men in the picture is St. Matthew, because the surprised movements of the bearded man on the table are mysterious. Most art historians now agree that Matthew is a bearded man, and in response to the summoning of Christ by pointing to himself, he seems to be asking, “Me?” . This theory is reinforced by considering two other works by Caravaggio in this collection. The bearded man, who is a model of St. Matthew, appears in all three works and undoubtedly plays the role of Saint Matthew. Also, Caravaggio appears to have depicted a coin in the bearded man’s hat in St. Matthew’s call to identify him as a famous extortionist. However, newer interpretations suggest that the bearded man is actually referring to a young man at the bottom of the table with his head down. In this interpretation, the bearded man is shown, in response to the summoning of Christ, and the painting depicts a moment just before, much younger than expected, Matthew raises his head and looks at Christ. Other art historians have deliberately described this painting as vague.

Caravaggio audiences could recognize the similarity between Jesus’ gesture when referring to Matthew and God’s gesture of awakening Adam in a mural on the roof of the Sistine Michelangelo church. Following the line of Christ’s right arm, it seems that Matthew has been invited to follow him in the world. In many ways the composition consists of two parts, Christ and St. Peter forming one half to the right of the image, both dressed in biblical costumes, while Matthew and his friends in contemporary Roman costumes, in the setting A world (inn) forms the second half of the image. An inn or what looks like a nest. The light of Christ flows into the room, illuminating the astonished Mito and his friends, and depicts the wonder of the moment of the holy invitation.

The creation of Adam by Michelangelo

The crucifixion of St. Peter

The canvas was painted in 1600 for the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, which also contains another Caravaggio Conversion on the Way to Damascus, which was completed the following year. The crucifixion of St. Peter depicts the martyrdom of St. Peter, who asked to turn his cross upside down so as not to imitate Christ, hence the inversion of the image.

Has been drawn. This large canvas depicts the Romans whose faces are not visible and who are trying to raise the cross of an old but muscular apostle. Peter is heavier than his aging body shows, and lifting his body and cross requires the efforts of three men, as if the crime they are already committing is a burden on them.

Conversion on the Way to Damascus

Two works by Caravaggio, as well as an altar by Aniballe Karachi, were commissioned in September 1600 by Monsigner Tiberius Crassi, who died shortly afterwards. Both of Caravaggio’s original paintings were rejected and transferred to Cardinal Senacio’s private collection. Since then, several modern scientists have speculated that Sennaccio may have used the sudden death of Cerasi to seize the paintings.

Together, Peter and St. Paul formed the foundations of the Catholic Church, Peter the Rock on which Christ announced that they would build their church, and Paul, who established the church in Rome. Thus, Caravaggio’s paintings were intended to symbolize Rome by serasi and to spread the princes’ devotion to the apostles in this church. Sarasi was eager to welcome the pilgrims. He called for works of art that reflected the great themes of reform in religion and martyrdom, and used them as propaganda against the backwardness of religion and Protestantism.

Dinner at Amaos

The supper at Amameus, originally commissioned by Cardinal Girolamo Matei’s brother Siriaco Matei, shows the momentary cost of the resurrected Christ suddenly appearing in the city of Amameus before disappearing with his two disciples, Luke and Cleopas. As stated in the Gospel of Luke 24: 30-31. In this painting, completed in 1602, Caravaggio depicts Cleopas dressed as a pilgrim, while another apprentice wears torn clothes. While the student is pointing with his hand and talking to Christ, the artist uses Cleopas’s hands very well by making them look very good, because they show the inside and outside of the painting directly. The standing groom, with a flat forehead and a shadowy face, seems unaware of this event. In this work, inanimate objects (food) are shown, and once again Caravaggio’s attention to detail is shown. The way the fruit basket is placed on the edge of the table has added to the apostles’ surprise.

Caravaggio painted the next version in 1606, in which the movements of the faces were much more restricted and the presence of Christ was more important than the performance. The dispute probably reflects Caravaggio’s living conditions at the time, when he fled Rome after the assassination of Ranuccio Tomasoni as a lawbreaker. Thus, during the five years between the two editions of Dinner at Amaos, Caravaggio realized the underestimation of composition in his work.

David with Goliath

This important painting was completed in 1610 and is kept in the Galleria Borghese in Rome and was originally part of the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. In the composition of this work, Caravaggio is believed to have been inspired by a painting produced by Giorgione’s followers, although he portrayed David hanging his head from the canvas with blood flowing down the canvas instead of a more static image of the head. Which is located on the arch, makes the moment more dramatic. The sword in David’s hand carries an inscription that interprets the Latin phrase Humilitas occidit superbiam (“humility kills pride”).

David is portrayed with a thoughtful and somewhat confused look, as he looks at the bloody turmoil of his defeated enemy – a situation that differs from the heroic and joyful images of the biblical hero. As David thinks of what he has done, there is an unusual connection between his tragic victory and his sacrifice. The fact that Caravaggio has portrayed himself as a Goliath makes Boom even more sensitive, while it is likely that model David Seco was an aide to Caravaggio’s studio in Rome, which was the subject of sexual rumors a few years ago. However, there is no direct photograph of the platform, and this identification is virtually impossible, although some art historians have argued that sexual intimacy between Caravaggio and the platform is possible, while others claim that it portrays Caravaggio’s remorse for his behavior. It is with the youth themselves, although at best such arguments are always theoretical. However, there is a more important interpretation that is often attributed to this canvas.

On May 29, 1606, Caravaggio, probably unintentionally, killed a young man named Ranuccio Tomasoni of Terni. Since then, the artist has been in exile because he escaped the pope’s wrath and spends his time in Naples and Malta, as well as other cities. But Caravaggio was eager to return to Rome and pardon Tomasoni’s murder. It is widely believed that the painting was intended for Caravaggio’s patron, Cardinal Scipon Bourgeois, the pope’s nephew, who had the power to grant pardons. In this painting, Caravaggio, in portraying himself as the murdered Goliath, presents himself as a punished victim, who can now ask for mercy. Because Caravaggio humbly incorporates his torturous image instead of Goliath and David’s sad look, softening Pope’s heart and giving him forgiveness. Unfortunately (although the pardon seemed very close), Caravaggio died shortly before returning to his beloved Rome.


Getting Christ

The Assumption of Christ was first commissioned by the Roman gentleman Ciriaco Mattei in 1602 and is housed in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. In this painting there are seven shapes of the object: from left to right: John, Jesus, Judas, three soldiers (one from the far right, barely visible in the back), and a man holding a lantern. They are standing and only the upper three quarters of their body are depicted. Judas just kissed Jesus to identify him for the soldiers. These elements are presented in a very dark background. The main light source is not clear in the painting but comes from the left. The less light source is the same lantern held by the man on the right (thought to be Caravaggio himself). He becomes in the world. On the left, a man (Holy Spirit) is fleeing. His arms are raised, his mouth is out of breath, his cloak is flying and he has been pushed back by a soldier. The terrified soul contrasts with the rest of the effect. Scientists claim that Caravaggio has stated that even a sinner has a better understanding of Christ’s followers a thousand years after Christ was resurrected.

Two of the more confusing details of this painting, one is that the heads of Jesus and the Holy Spirit appear to be visually combined in the upper left corner, and the second is the fact of the prominent presence of a highly polished and covered arm. The metal is the catching officer in the center of the painting. Regarding the polished metal details of the soldier in the center of the image, Franco Mormando suggests that Caravaggio meant that the polished metal as a mirror was a reflection of conscience (like Martha Caravaggio and Marie Magdalen in Detroit): Like many writers and missionaries At that time, the artist might “invite his viewers to reflect on the behavior of Judas” through his daily betrayal of Jesus, that is, through their sin.

Doubt Thomas

This episode introduces the term “Thomas Doubt,” which is formally known as Thomas’ illegitimacy and has been frequently represented in Christian art since at least the fifth century, to express various theological points. Was used. According to the Gospel of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Thomas lost his position with the Apostles after the resurrection and said, “Unless I see my finger in his body and put my finger where the spear was, otherwise I will not believe.” 20:25 A week later Jesus appeared and told Thomas to touch him, and not to doubt him. Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

In the painting, Thomas’s face is shown as Jesus takes his hand and leads it into the wound. The lack of an aura emphasizes the physicality of the risen Christ. The painting belonged to Vincenzo Giustiniani before entering the Prussian royal complex and survived World War II. The work is now housed in a museum in Potsdam, Germany.

The beheading of John the Baptist

The 12-foot (3.7-meter) by 17-foot (5.2-meter) painting depicts the execution of John the Baptist. Which is located at the lectures of the Cathedral of St. John in Valletta, Malta.

This work is considered as a masterpiece of Caravaggio and also “one of the most important works in Western painting”. John the Baptist is known as one of the ten great works of art of all time. Man’s death and cruelty are stripped naked by this masterpiece, because its scale and shadow attract apprehension and the mind.

The painting depicts the execution of John the Baptist as a maid stands near him with a golden plate to receive his head. The other woman realizes that the execution is wrong, but is just watching. Next to her, another man orders the executioner to place his head after it has been cut off. The scene, popular among Italian artists and Caravaggio himself, is not directly inspired by the Bible, but by a story. This is the only work by Caravaggio that bears the artist’s signature, which he smeared in red blood from a Baptist’s severed throat.

Compiled and translated by Nima Nomani

Produced by Art Echo