CARAVAGGIO, kii'ra-vii'jo. .AIICIIELANCELO A NI ERICI, or 1\101014 ( ) • An Italian painter. founder of the Naturalistic School. He •il-; born in Caravaggio. Bergamo Province, the son of a -tone-mason. As a boy he was employed to prepare plaster for the fresco painters of Milan, and from them he acquired his desire to beeome a painter. Pe does not seem to have studied under any particular master. but to have used natn•e as a model, confining himself, at first, to still life and portraits. After five years of such work in Milan, lie went to Venice, where he studied the works of Giorgione, the only master who influenced him. Thence lie went to Borne, and although for a short time wiCt Cesare d'Arpino and another unimportant painter. he in going his own way. After much vicissitude lie found a patron in Cardinal del Monte, which insured his Ilk talent developed with great rapidity. 'throwing all traditions aside. and appealing only to nature, he became the head of the Naturalists, in opposition to the Mannerists. lie became very popular, and even the Felectieists imitated him. But the animosities which he excited and his own passionate disposition involved him in constant quarrels. although he certainly did not provoke all the quarrels attributed to him. Thus he is said to have challenged Guido Reid. who imitated his work, to a duel. and to have chased the inof fensive Guerein from Nome. 11 is true, however, that he killed a comrade in a over a game, and had to leave Rome for this offense. He was •otected and concealed near Palest•ina by- Duke Marzio Colonna. Ile painted for that nobleman AO lie went to Naples. In this city he found an apprcciatiVe public, and iron) his activity there arose a Naturalist school of great impor tance. lie afterwards went to Malta. Pleased by his portraits of himself, and by his other services to the order, the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta made him one of their number, but when Caravaggio again quarreled and wounded one of the knights. he threw him into prison. The painter escaped, and was for some
time occupied in the churches of Catania, Syra cuse, and other Sicilian cities. Ile was always desirous of returning to Rome. and on having been pardoned by the Pope. in 1(109, he set out from Naples for the Eternal City. But he was waylaid on the road, and died at Porto Ercole, from the Erects of a wound.
Caravaggio's art was like his character—fierce in mood, impetuous in expression. Pis pictures are full of action and of feeling, not mere painted models, like those of Courbet (q.v.), his Nine teenth Century successor. They resembbe his in that they are plebeian: both sought in the corn inmi types of the people the models for their pictures. and both insisted on the exact reproduc tion of these types. '['litre was, however, this great difference, that while Caravaggio saw na ture with the extravagant eyes of the Seventeenth Century, Courhet saw it with the matter-of-fact gaze of the Nineteenth. Caravaggio was a good technician, both in drawing, color, and brush work, and lie handled light and shade with fine effect.
Ilis work may be best divided into two periods. In the first he did not make such prominent use of the (lark shadows and high lights which char acterize his later period, and which became the most prominent characteristic of the Naturalist School. Most of the works of this period are genre pieces. executed during his stay in Rome. One of the hest examples is the "Card Players." in which the artist represents a wealthy, inex perienced young man tieing cheated by profes sionals. The best example of this picture is in the S•iarra Palace, Rome, although the Dresden Apnea has been most reproduced. Another fine specimen of his first period is the For tune Teller," in the Palazzo (lei Conservatori, in the Capitoline Nill. The cunning jade seems more anxions to win the young, man's heart than to attend to professional duties. The Berlin Museum possesses Iwo charming, genre pieces, "Love as a Inder," "Love Conquered," showing an admirable mastery over the nude.