Michelangelo Merisi or Amerighi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.
Caravaggio's hot temper was as renowned as his work and he died after a violent life aged 38.
Since his death 400 years ago, mystery has surrounded the painter of such masterpieces as 'The Death of the Virgin' and 'David Victorious over Goliath', who influenced the likes of Velazquez and Rembrandt.
Historians have remained in the dark about the final years of his life, during which Caravaggio committed murder and fled to Malta, instigating a fateful chain of events which led to his death.
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