Saint Matthew and the Angel

Saint Matthew and the Angel
Caravaggio's Saint Matthew and the Angel painted for the Contarelli Chapel in 1602.

Michelangelo Caravaggio (1571–1610) was the most intense and gifted painter of the very late Italian Renaissance known as the Baroque period. Often conflicted, he never ran from the brutally religious nature of his paintings. Caravaggio was confined, rewarded, exiled, and even become a Knight and official painter of the Order of Malta - a small Mediterranean island south of Sicily.

Thematically, his radical approach combined contemporary culture of 17th century Italy with the heroes, prophets and saints of the Bible. In his paintings, deep spiritual truths were clearly visible around man - whether he is looking for them or not. To many, this was sacrilege.

Although he was never without popular and critical acclaim (or patronage) his entire lifetime - his radical themes and personality caused Caravaggio decades of hardship.In 1610, Caravaggio, armed with his last three paintings, died on his way to a Papal pardon for murder (during duels), of a "fever" at the age of 38.

Today, after being long forgotten, he is best remembered for three paintings: Judith Beheading Holonofernes , The Incredulity of Thomas (Doubting Thomas) and The Calling of St. Matthew and the fact he was the mentor of of one of the very few women painters recognized from the Baroque era, the amazing Artemisia Gentileschi.

The Official:
Wikipedia, Caravaggio

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