Caravaggio (2007) 

 

 

 

Director:     Angelo Angoni. 

Starring:      Alessio Boni  (Caravaggio ),  Elena Sofia Ricci  (Costanza Colonna ),  Jordi Mollà  (Cardinal Del Monte ),  Paolo Briguglia (Mario Minniti),  Claire Keim  (Fillide Melandroni),  Benjamin Sadler  (Onorio Longhi),  François Montagut  (Alof De Vignancourt),   Francesc Garrido (Cavalier Martelli),  Paolo Giovannucci (Giovanni De Ponte),  Francesc Orella  (Peterzano),  Mauro Marino  (Priore),  Luigi Diberti  (Scipione Borghese),  Ricard Sadurní  (Prosperino Orsi),  Roberto Bisacco  (Rettore),  Marta Bifano (Lucia Merisi),  Arnaud Giovaninetti (Vincenzo Giustiniani),  Ruben Rigillo (Fabrizio Colonna), Blas Roca-Rey (Baglione), Francesco Siciliano (Strozzi),  Sarah Felberbaum (Lena),  Maurizio Donadoni (Ranuccio Tomassoni),  Joachim Bissmeier (Cardinale Gonzaga),  Luca Capuano (Francesco Tomassoni).. 

Made for TV.

Italian Renaissance painter 1593-1610; proto-Baroque style

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film. 

 

Part I.

The boy Michele asks Marquise Colonna why is she crying?  She is crying because she doesn't want to marry Sforza.  Michele tells her that he will marry her.  The plague has come and something has happened to his mother.  Michele has to go home.  On his way he sees a man dressed in black on a black horse.  Michele finds his mother dead.  The neighbor Lucia will take care of him. 

Caravaggio, October 1577.  The bodies of the dead are burned.

Michele is not talking to Lucia.  She tells him that he can become a great artist if he will apply himself in the workshop of Simone Peterzano.  Michele tells her that he is not going to go to Milan. 

The day for Michele to leave has come.  He tells his mother Lucia not to send him away, but away he has to go. 

Milan.  Michele Merisi meets his new master.  The master gets him something to eat.  While Merisi eats, the master tells him that he must know two things:  colors and the Holy scriptures.  Simone likes to hit the boys a lot to correct them and he's a pedophile.  Count Martelli, a Maltese Knight, likes Merisi's painting, but the master won't let him purchase it.  Later Merisi watches Martelli practice his sword fighting.  He gives Martelli his painting and Martelli gives him his sword. 

Merisi loves sword fighting with a stick figure. He hears a kid named Davide crying and asks him what's wrong?  He sees by the bruises on the boy's legs that he has been beaten by the master.  Merisi goes and confronts the pedophile calling him a monster.  He is stopped when he hears that he has to leave immediately for Caravaggio.  It's his mother. 

Merisi arrives home.  He sees Marquise Colonna again and kisses her hand, telling her that she is more beautiful than ever.  She says that she is already a widowed mother.  Merisi says he is going to Rome, but Marquise Colonna tells him that it is very dangerous there.  Merisi argues that Milan is worse because it is a virtual ghost town.  Marquise Colonna tells Merisi that the French are fighting the Spanish in Rome and the Pope is caught in the middle of it, so he better be on his guard. 

Merisi walks down the streets of Rome.  He must give way for the passing of Cardinal del Monte.  Merisi asks to be taken into the workshop of Lorenzo Carlo, but the man won't even consider it.  So Merisi moves on to Maestro Zuccari.  Zuccari says that Simone Peterzano worked under Titian, but he just walks away from Merisi without any real answer to his request. Merisi looks through a window to see people eating.  There he also sees a very pretty woman (named Fillide).

At night Merisi sleeps under an aqueduct with many other homeless people.  He becomes friendly with a young man named Mario Minniti, who says he is a painter too.  Merisi says that his full name is Merisi Michelangelo.  

In the streets of Rome Merisi falls down sick.  He wakes up in a church in a bed.  The prior tells him that his brother Mario brought him in and that the prior himself cured Merisi.  When the prior learns that Merisi is a painter, he wants Merisi to paint a picture for him.  Merisi paints.  A wounded man comes into the church damning the Spaniards who for 70 years have ruled over them.  The fellow's name is Onorio Longhi.  When Onorio is better, he takes Merisi and Mario over to see the painter Cesari d'Arpino, whose patron is Pope Clement VIII.  The man has a workshop with twenty assistants. 

At the workshop the master's brother Bernardino takes Merisi to the workplace where he is to paint the garland.  Merisi is disappointed, because he wants to paint figures, but d'Arpino insists that he will start on the garland. 

One day Merisi sees again the pretty woman from the restaurant.  He finds out that her name is Fillide Melandroni and that she is a high-class courtesan.  The huge man pawing at her is her pimp, Ranuccio Tommasoni.

Onorio, Merisi, Mario and some others fight a group of Spaniards.  Fillide Melandroni throws a rock from a window at one of the Spaniards to help Merisi.  The Italians have to run for it when the guards start coming. 

Baron Cenci comes into the workshop one day and is impressed by a Merisi painting.  He tells the master that he thinks the young man is good.  A young girl named Beatrice calls Merisi from her seat in a coach.  Merisi discovers that she is actually chained to her seat.  The two talk together, while the Baron is shown some erotic pieces of art for sale.  Merisi gets the girl a drink of water from the fountain, but quickly has to get away as the Baron approaches. 

With the master, Onorio and the others steal a piece of art.  Merisi's leg is gashed badly in an accident with the carriage and he is left behind.  He is brought to the prior again.  He faints when his wound is cauterized.  When Merisi recovers, he says he is not going back to the workshop.  He and Mario get a room from an art dealer who says he will find a buyer for some of Merisi's paintings.  Mario tells his friend that the room at least is better than living under the aqueduct. 

Merisi starts painting pictures of Mario.  He looks for buyers, but can only sell the paintings for a low price.  One man gives him such a low amount of money that he throws the coins back at the buyer.    

Merisi meets a man and a woman and the three go to bed.  The couple wakes up early and steals Merisi's money.  Merisi winds up on a bread line.  The Marquise Colonna walks by but she doesn't see Merisi.  Fillide Melandroni, however, does see him and says a few words to him.   

Fillide Melandroni is with the huge man Ranuccio Tommasoni.  In the restaurant she gives Merisi some food to eat, but Merisi won't eat it.  Ranuccio comes over and tells Merisi to eat the food.  He eats some of it himself with his hand and then wipes it on Merisi's vest.

Merisi is going to cut himself with a knife, but Mario stops him. 

D'Arpino goes to an art dealer and sees the painting by Merisi.  The art dealer will sell the painting to him for only two scudi, but D'Arpino doesn't want it.  The dealer tells him that Cardinal del Monte bought two of Merisi's paintings.

Cardinal del Monte becomes the patron of Merisi.  He buys two of his paintings for 200 scudi.  The cardinal tells Merisi that for now he must just work on trying to get better at painting. 

Merisi goes into the palace of the cardinal.  Del Monte shows him his new room.  Merisi comments:  "It's perfect."  The cardinal says he has an admirer and a protector. He is one of them and the other is the noblewoman Marquise Colonna.  The cardinal now tells Merisi to start working. 

At a get together in the palace, Merisi gets to meet other painters.  He meets Jan Bruegel, for instance.  He also is introduced to the Marquis Giustiniani, Europe's most important art collector.  Zuccari comes in.  He is the founder of San Luca's Academy.  With Zuccari is Giovanni Baglione, a promising art student of Zucarri's.

Merisi and some of his friends walk amidst the nudity of the prostitutes (brief nudity).  His group runs into the Spaniards again, but this time they avoid a confrontation.  Merisi finds himself back in the tavern where Fillide hangs out.  He whispers to the girl that he has to have her.  So, he challenges Ranuccio . . . to play handball.  If Merisi wins, he paints Fillide.  The two men play handball and Merisi wins. 

Merisi takes Fillide into his room and has her change her clothes.  He watches her in a mirror (brief nudity).  Fillide finds it hard sitting still.  She comes over to look at his painting and then kisses him.  She says she's from Sienna and she was arrested when she was just 13.  She felt she needed protection and that's when she hooked up with Ranuccio.  She tells Merisi:  "I've never made love like this."  She then makes him swear that he won't make love to her again. 

Merisi gets drunk and starts a fight for which he is arrested and thrown into a jail cell.  There the Spaniards mistake him for a Frenchman and give him a good beating. 

When Merisi returns to the cardinal, he asks him why did he leave him in jail for three days?  The cardinal says:  "I told you., don't go out armed."  Marquise Colonna comes in and the cardinal and Merisi greet her.  Then Merisi shows them both his painting of Fillide as the face and figure of Saint Catherine.  The cardinal comments that the woman is beautiful, but she has the face of a courtesan. 

The Inquisition is having a public preliminary trial of women accused of heresy.  With some others, Merisi shouts:  "In God's name, let her go."  The decision is made to hold the women over for trial.  Merisi tells Marquise Colonna that the people are getting fed up with the Inquisition.  Marquise Colonna tells him that they will torture the women, even the noblewoman Beatrice.  Pope Clement VIII wants the Cenci riches.  Merisi says he met her once and found her to be a sweet girl.  Marquise Colonna says bluntly that Beatrice will die.  And she pleads with Merisi not to say anything against the church or he will be in big trouble.  She asks him to promise her.  Merisi kisses her hand. 

The Inquisition tortures Beatrice so she will confess.  They burn her with hot irons.  She spits in the judge's face.  The execution is a public one.  Merisi watches the injustice take place.

 

Part II.

A man is being burned at the stake for heresy.  He is given one last chance to take back his heresy.  The heretic says he believes in freedom of speech, but up in flames he goes.  Merisi watches disapprovingly. 

Fillide is sitting as a model for Merisi. She asks who Judith was?  Merisi does not answer her.  She gets angry, saying that this is torture and she starts to leave.  Merisi chases after her.  He tells her that Judith was a young Jewish woman, who, in order to save her people, seduced Holferne and then killed him in his sleep.  He asks Fillide if she really is going to become the whore of Strozzi?  Fillide just gets away from Merisi.  Then she cries about the confrontation. 

Cardinal Del Monte asks Merisi what happened to his right hand?  It is bloody and scabby.  He also criticizes his life style because he will work for two days, then live recklessly for weeks.  To justify his behavior, Merisi says he won't be given the Contarelli Chapel to paint.  The cardinal says that he and d'Arpino are the only two candidates left for the job.  Then he says that Michele got the job.  He will do paintings of St. Matthew and his martyrdom.  If the church people don't like his work, a rich art dealer says he will buy the paintings from the church.  Merisi gets the job. 

A young boy watches Merisi do a painting and asks him how does he do that?  Merisi says that he observes closely the interaction of light and figures.  He likes to say he is a student of nature.  Merisi takes a rest.  He awakens and sees the light from an upper window spotlighting a couple of characters in his painting.  It's this that he wants to capture on his canvas. 

Michele shows his work to the public.  Marquise Colonna is very pleased with it.  With her is her now grown son, Fabrizio.  Michele is not sure he remembers the son until Fabrizio says he was the one who used to play with Michele's paints.  Mario tells Michele to be calm because Zuccari is coming.  Zuccari and his pupil start savaging his work.  They say his models are vulgar.  The cardinal intervenes before a fight begins.

Merisi comes into the home of Strozzi.  He says he wants the painting that people have been saying belongs to Merisi.  The painting is brought out.  Merisi asks where did Strozzi get the painting?  The great painter adds that the painting is a copy of his work and a bad copy at that.  He slashes the painting with his sword.  Fillide begs Merisi to please go.  This is not his home.  Strozzi comes over to fondle Fillide in front of Merisi, who leaves angry.

A fellow named Gaspare is roughing up a woman asking her to tell him where is he?  Merisi and Onorio intervene.  They grab the man and start making fun of him.  Merisi spanks him with the broadside of his sword.  The woman they saved is named Lena. 

Cardinal Del Monte tells Merisi that the old guard despises him.  They say that Merisi is "arrogant, amoral, violent and in league with the Devil".   He goes on to tell Merisi that he wants him to be friends with Scipione Borghese because his uncle may soon be the next Pope.  He says that the man with Borghese is Cardinal Gonzaga.  They are both art collectors.  Cardinal Del Monte introduces Merisi to the two men interested in art.  Cardinal Gonzaga asks Merisi when they can commission a work of his?  The painter says anytime. 

Merisi talks with Marquise Colonna.  She asks him if he ever thought of marrying?  He says he doesn't want children and, anyway, he won't live much longer.  He asks Colonna if she ever adjusted to life with Sforza?  She says she learned to love the man. 

This is the time of the counterreformation against Protestants and Catholic heretics.  As part of this counterreformation, Cardinal Borghese has said that all works of art must be approved by his office.  Merisi is one of the first victims of the new policy.  His paintings are removed from the churches.  When Merisi protests against this, he is told things like the Academy supports the Counter Reformation.  Merisi asks what's wrong with the paintings and he is told that, for instance, the saint in the painting is too human.  He says:  "They've written against me.  They want to destroy me." 

Fillide tells Merisi that Strozzi wants her as his favorite and Ranuccio will be paid well to step out of the way.  Merisi starts caressing Fillide, but she stops him saying there's a fidelity clause in the contract.  Fillide then says:  "It's over!"  Merisi screams and turns over a table. 

Lena approaches Merisi when he is in a very bad mood.  She just wanted to thank him, but he is rude to her.  He, Onorio and Mario go after their critic Bagliloni making fun of him and taunting him.  Ranuccio and two othersintervene on behalf of Bagliloni.  Three sword fights begin between the two groups.  One of Ranuccio's men is badly wounded.  Ranuccio and his comrade take the wounded man to the hospital.  Mario is the one who wounded the man and he tells his friends that he has to leave Rome or face execution.  He goes.

Lena shows up.  The guards come for Merisi and possibly Lena too.  Merisi tells her to get out of here, while he holds off the guards.  The head of the guard says that Merisi is under arrest for injuring Lorenzo Tomassoni.  As soon as Lena has escaped, Merisi drops his sword and lets himself be arrested. 

After awhile in jail, Merisi is let go.  Lena is there waiting for him.  He sits with Lena and has something to eat from her basket. 

Cardinal Del Monte speaks with Merisi telling him he had better be very careful, because the cardinal is no longer with those who hold power in the church.  He also tells Merisi that with this last stunt he has gone too far.  Merisi agrees that it's time for him to move on.    

Merisi uses Lena as his model for two paintings of the Virgin.  During a dinner, he tells Lena that he just can't seem to paint on canvas the way she looks in reality.  He kisses his model and they have sex (brief nudity).  Merisi asks Lena to stay with him.  She agrees.

Pope Alessandro d'Medici is dead after only 26 days in office.  Now the Spanish are planning to regain control of the papacy.  Merisi paints the Pope, a Borghese. 

Merisi has gathered together a lot of real pilgrims and will pose them with Lena as his Madonna.  He tells a friend that this will put him back on top.  Lena is pregnant and she has bruises on her body. Merisi sees this and demands to know who did it?  It's the man they spanked with Merisi's sword.  His name is Gaspare.  He runs and finds Gaspare and gives him a beating. 

Cardinal Del Monte does not like the new painting.  He says it is too provocative.  Merisi learns that Lena was attacked.  He runs to her place and sees Lena holding the right side of her face.  She screams as he tries to get a look at it.  She has received a cut from just below her right eye to the right side of her mouth.  He tells Lena that she is beautiful and that he will return.  He tells the men with him to take her to the prior and he will fix her up. 

Ranuccio is the man who cut Lena's face.  Merisi challenges him to a duel with swords.  Ranuccio really likes being provided with an opportunity to destroy and kill Merisi.  They fight on the hand ball court where Merisi defeated Ranuccio.  The net that was in the middle is now over on one side of the court.  The duel begins and Ranuccio overpowers Merisi on several occasions.  Merisi grabs the netting and throws it over the head of Ranuccio.  He then stabs Ranuccio in the gut and he goes down.  Onorio tells Merisi that now he absolutely has to leave Rome. 

Merisi received several light wounds and Colonna starts nursing him.  Onorio tells Marquise Colonna to take Merisi away from here.  After awhile, they place Merisi in Colonna's coach and away they go.  She is taking him south to Naples. 

Naples.  Colonna is still nursing Merisi.  As he sleeps she kisses him on his lips.  Her son arrives with the news that Tomassoni is dead.  And Merisi has been sentenced to death.  The Tomassonis have the support of the new Pope.  Fabrizio has an idea to save Merisi.  He will take him to the headquarters of the Order of Malta to see the Grand Master De Wignacourt.  

Merisi is now up and painting again.  Colonna tells him that he has to leave Naples.  Merisi kisses her hand.  Colonna gives a document to her son to give to the Grand Master.  In Rome they are trying to eliminate even any trace of Merisi who they refer to as the "killer".  Fabrizio and Merisi are placed on a ship headed for Malta. 

In Malta, Merisi meets the Grand Master, Ippolito Malaspina (grand bailiff of the order) and Giovanni de Ponet (knight and minister of justice).  It is mentioned to Merisi that in their order, which has great influence in Rome, a knight may sometimes be granted a pardon. 

Fabrizio tells Merisi that they must not antagonize de Ponte because he can be a tough adversary.  As they walk along the buildings Merisi runs into a familiar face. It is none other than Knight Martelli who gave Merisi his sword in exchange for a painting by Michele.  After Merisi explains who he is, the knight remembers.  The two men now hug and say they must have drinks together.  

The Grand Master stands up to De Ponte on the matter of Merisi by saying:  "In my opinion, he's genuine."  Merisi gets malaria and is very weak.  But he still works on another painting.  He is told that there will be a knighting ceremony for him.  The Pope has given his consent for Merisi to be knighted.  Merisi is very happy about this news.  Marquise Colonna is informed by her son that Merisi is now a knight.  She is pleased.  Cardinal Del Monte says that they must find a way to convince the Pope to give Merisi a pardon. 

De Ponte sees Merisi being taught swordsmanship.  He decides to challenge Merisi and Merisi foolishly takes the challenge.  De Ponte wounds Merisi a couple of times.  Getting a bit frustrated, Merisi grabs some sand and throws it into De Ponte's face.  He then wounds De Ponte on the left arm.  De Ponte demands that Merisi be arrested.  He is arrested and Merisi is lowered down by rope into a cell underground.  De Ponte then insists to the Grand Master that Merisi be sentenced to death.  The Grand Master is maddened by De Ponte's arrogance and he tells the fellow that only the Pope has that power.  He now tells De Ponte to get out of his sight. 

In his jail cell, Merisi has another vision of the black knight on a black horse.  He screams and throws himself up against the walls of his cell.  At night Merisi's friends rescue him from the hole.  The Grand Master sees them put Merisi on a boat, but he says nothing about it.  Merisi is going to Syracuse.  De Ponte demands that Martelli and Malaspina be punished for their role in the escape.  He then tells one of his knights to find and kill Merisi.

Syracuse.  Merisi's boat delivers the artist to Syracuse.  A friend of his comes and picks up Merisi.  He wants Merisi to do Syracuse the great honor of painting a painting for the city.  In his dreams Merisi again sees the black knight.  He screams. 

Marquise Colonna comes to talk with Fillida.  She asks the younger woman for help in getting a pardon for Merisi.  Fillida says:  "So, you love him."  Colonna goes to leave when Fillida tells her:  "I'll do it."  She goes to see a very influential cardinal who has a lot of influence on the Pope.  She gets nude for him to emphasize her part of the bargain to get help for Merisi.

Merisi has another nightmare about the black knight.  The next day he works with his models on his next painting.  Later he goes to the market place where he sees the guard.  He thinks they have spotted him and tries to hide.

Merisi comes into see his finished painting and the people applaud his work.  The great artist nearly flips out when a critic says that Merisi has given them only half a painting.  The characters at the bottom have half the canvas over their heads with just empty space.  

Cardinal Gonzaga comes to see Merisi and tells him that his pardon has been granted.  He says that Merisi can return to Rome and that a boat awaits him.  Merisi is dropped off at a prison where he is taken to a jail cell because he is a wanted man.

Merisi is taken from his cell and put on a fishing boat that will take him to Porto Ercole.  Colonna arrives with the letter of pardon.  She learns that Merisi has been taken to Porto Ercole.  Colonna gets back in her coach and the driver takes off for Porto Ercole. 

Merisi is very ill on the voyage.  He lays down.  The fishermen see that he is dying on their boat and they say they must get him off the boat before this happens.   

Porto Ercole, Feniglia, 1610.  The boatmen drop off Merisi in the water near the shore and then they take off.  Merisi makes his way stumbling onto the shores. 

Merisi sees the black knight again.  The knight charges on his black horse at Merisi, who runs as fast as he can away from the knight.  He falls onto the beach by the water.  He is dead.  Colonna's coach whizzes past the shore where Merisi is now laying, but no one sees him. 

 

Caravaggio was a great painter, but seemed to be cursed. He constantly got himself into trouble, but because he was such a good painter, he had friends in high places who usually got him out of his many jams.  The artist never seems to straighten up.  He is always repeating the same pattern of getting into brawls in public places.  The painter led a dissolute life.  This wild lifestyle was aided by his believe that he would die young.  A number of women fell in love with Caravaggio and helped him a great deal, but he never married.  He brawled his way into deep trouble and was even sentenced to death. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


 

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Italian Baroque painter.

1571 (Sept. 28) – birth of Caravaggio in Milan. His father, Fermo Merisi, was a household administrator and architect-decorator to Francesco Sforza, Marchese of Caravaggio, a town 30 kilometers from Milan.

1576 – the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague.

1577 – Caravaggio’s father died. It is not know with certainty where Caravaggio grew up, perhaps in Caravaggio with some time in Milan. His family maintained their relations with the powerful Sforza and Colonna families, which were allied by marriage.

1584 – for 4 years, Caravaggio was an apprentice to painter Simone Peterzano of Milan (a pupil of Titian).

1592 (mid-year) – he moved to Rome with no money. He found some hack work for the commercially successful Giuseppe Cesari, Cavaliere d’Arpino, who was the favorite of Pope Clement VIII.

Some of his early paintings were Boy Peeling a Fruit; Boy with a Basket of Fruit, and Young Sick Bacchus.

The latter painting was of himself during a period of illness.   He lost his because of his long convalescence.

1594 (January) – Caravaggio left d’Arpino taking with him the model (16-year old Mario Minniti) for the boy in his early paintings.

Caravaggio started painting scenes of Roman street life (sold through dealer Costantino): The Fortune Teller, The Cardsharps; and Fortune Teller.

His paintings gained him the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, one of the leading connoisseurs in Rome. Caravaggio shared an apartment with his model Minniti in the cardinal’s Palazzo Madama.

What followed were intimate chamber-pieces: The Musicians, The Lute Player, Bacchus, and Boy Bitten by a Lizard, all featuring quite a few boy models, including Minniti.

He turned back to a more realist style with his religious pictures: Penitent Magdalene, featuring Mary Magdalene, Saint Catherine, Martha and Mary Magdalene, Judith Beheading Holofernes, Sacrifice of Isaac, Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy, and Rest on the Flight into Egypt.

1599 – Caravaggio got a commission to paint the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi.

1600 – Caravaggio created a sensation with the resultant Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Many praised him as the savior of art.

Caravaggio did, however, have some critics. Many thought his painting too realistic and therefore "vulgar". Some patrons had him repaint his paintings.

1601 – a wealthy jurist commissioned a painting for his private chapel in the new Carmelite church of Santa Maria della Scala. What resulted was Death of the Virgin.

1602-1603 – Amour Victorious.

1606 – the painting Death of the Virgin was rejected by the Carmelites on the grounds that Caravaggio had used a well-known prostitute as his model for the Virgin and/or because Mary's legs were bare legs. Or maybe it was a theological objection: that the painting did not assert the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary, that is, the idea that the Mother of God did not die in the ordinary sense but was assumed into Heaven.

The Duke of Mantua, responding to Rubens’s advice, purchased Death of the Virgin.

Caravaggio led a quite wild life. Today we might say he had quite a rap sheet. He would get into trouble especially for brawling.

1606 (May 29) – he killed the young man called Ranuccio Tomassoni. Caravaggio fled to Naples. There he was given sanctuary by the powerful Colonna family. The Colonnas even got him important church commissions, including the Madonna of the Rosary and The Seven Works of Mercy.

1606 – after just a few months in Naples, Caravaggio left for Malta. It is thought he was seeking the help of Alof de Wignacourt in order to secure a pardon for Tomassoni's death. De Wignacourt inducted Caravaggio as a knight into the Knights of Malta.

Some of the paintings from this period were Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt and his Page.

1608 (August) – Caravaggio was arrested and imprisoned for still another brawl in which a knight was seriously wounded.

Caravaggio moved on to Sicily (along with Mario Minniti, now married and living in Syracuse). They toured from Syracuse to Messina and on to Palermo. Despite his troubles, Caravaggio continued to obtain commissions. Some of the paintings of this period were a Burial of St. Lucy, The Raising of Lazarus, and an Adoration of the Shepherds.

1608 (December) – Caravaggio was expelled from the Order of Malta "as a foul and rotten member."

Caravaggio was becoming quite paranoid. He slept in his regular clothes while being fully armed. He learned that he was being pursued and felt he had to get out of Sicily. He returned to Naples after only nine months. He hoped the Colonnas would help him earn his pardon from Pope Paul V.

In Naples he painted The Denial of Saint Peter, John the Baptist (Borghese), and The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula.

1610 (summer) – due to his powerful Roman friends, Caravaggio thought he was going to get his pardon via Cardinal Scipione. He took a boat to receive the pardon.

1610 (July) – a private newsletter from Rome reported that Caravaggio was dead. The cause of death is not know, but the most probable cause seems to be that he died of a fever.

1610 (July 18) – death of Caravaggio at the age of 38.

 

 

Return To Main Page

Return to Home Page (Vernon Johns Society)