Micheangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was the son of Fermo di Bernardino Merisi and Lucia Aratori. Caravaggio lost his father, who passed away when he was eleven years old along with his, 3 other siblings. When Caravaggio was 12, he was appointed to Milanese Painter, Surano Peterzano. During this internship, he learned basic techniques, such as selecting brushes, mixing paints, and how to build frames. During this time, he learned the Lombard and Venezian style.
Around 1588 to 1592, Caravaggio relocated to Rome, Italy. He eventually moved to an area that was considered to be poor. However, it was a cosmopolitan area that was rich in artistic value. Caravaggio was never successful in keeping a job due to his anger problems. This was the time he started doing minor artist work, like painting backgrounds and still lives.
In 1595, Caravaggio decided to go solo and began marketing his paintings. Maestro Valentino was Caravaggio’s art seller. Valentino decided to bring Caravaggio’s art work to Cardinal Francesco del Monte. Cardinal Francesco was a member of the Papal Court. After a few encounters Caravaggio was invited to live in the cathedral’s house.
In 1957, a commission was granted to Caravaggio to paint 3 large paintings for the Contarelli Chapel in the Church of san Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. This established Caravaggio’s success as an artist. In this commission came the creation of life of St. Matthew: St. Matthew and the Angel, The Calling of St. Matthew, and The Martyrdom of St. Matthew. In these painting he portrayed St. Matthew in a realistic form. However this painting created chaos and caused Caravaggio to reevaluate his artistic style and subjects.
Near the year of 1602, Caravaggio was commissioned to complete work for Contarelli Chapel. By this time, he was considered a famous renowned artist amongst his fellow comrades. In Contarelli Chapel, The Deposition of Christ, Death of the Virgin, The Cruxifixion of St. Peter, and The Conversion of St. Paul were placed.
During the 1600’s, Caravaggio’s life was very turbulent. He was accused of doing quite a mischief of crimes. He was said to have attack one of his colleagues and wounded a soldier. In 1603, Giovanni Baglione had him brought up on changes. In 1604, he was arrested twice for disorderly conduct to a waiter and assault on a Roman guard. In 1605, he was detained for illegal possession of arms. In the same year he decided to leave Rome after he stabbed a man in a fight over a woman. On May 29, 1606 Caravaggio got into a fight over a tennis match and killed Ranuccio Tomassoni.
For a long time, Caravaggio spent a lot of time migrating from place to place. He ended up residing in Naples. While in Naples, he completed two paintings for a Flemish painter by the name of Louis Finor. They were named The Flagellation of Christ and The Madonna of the Rosary. At this time, he also created The Seven Works of Mercy for the Chapel of Monte della Misericordia.