Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was hugely a influential artist of the Baroque period. He mastered chiaroscuro up to perfection. One of the few artists to have a whole movement of followers in his name. In his works, he rejected idealization and showed everything in vivid realism, which was very revolutionary for his time. His still life details often have symbolic meaning, like wormhole-ridden fruit. Caravaggio almost singlehandedly created a revolution in art. The characteristics of his works are tense compositions, dramatic lighting, vivid contrast and realistic detail. Even today his paintings have the same power to astonish and shock.
Artist’s Quote: “All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles… unless they are made and painted from life, and there can be nothing… better than to follow nature.”
Key artwork: The Conversation of St. Paul, 1601