|Portrait of a Courtesan, Carrvaggio|
Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio was born in Milan in 1571, in the household of an official to the Marchese of Caravaggio. He apprenticed under Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, then later moved to Rome after some trouble with the local law in Milan.
In Rome, he worked for Giuseppe Cesari, doing “hack work”-painting the less important aspects of larger works. After an argument, he worked on his own, aided by the contacts he had made while working for Cesari.
While in Rome, Caravaggio led a, shall we say, colorful and active life, which eventually resulted in him fleeing Rome and living in exile in Naples, Malta and Sicily. In the summer of 1610, developments in Rome caused him to begin a return trip from Sicily. He died during the trip of a fever in the town of Porto Ercole.
Caravaggio and his innovations in art have caused him to be lauded as one of the progenitors of the Baroque movement.