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Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio)

Rebel of the Baroque era

The Italian artist Caravaggio was as famous for his tempestuous personal life as he was for his paintings. Full of Italian verve and swagger, he was arrested numerous times and loved a fight! This passion comes through in his iconic paintings, which are instantly recognisable for their dramatic use of light and shade and their emotional realism.

Caravaggio began his artist’s career creating still life paintings of fruit and flowers, but soon found his signature style painting evocative portraits with a strong story. Sadly, he died young in 1610 at the age of 38, but the enduring legacy of Caravaggio artwork went on to influence generations of painters. Enjoy browsing our powerful collection of Caravaggio art to find your favourites from this larger-than-life artist.

Striking paintings

Caravaggio certainly painted bold works of art. Dark and disturbing scenes, such as ‘Medusa’ or ‘David with the head of Goliath’, will create some serious visual impact in your home and intrigue guests young and old.

You’ll also find some gentler pieces that have a gorgeous sense of purity and serenity. Favourites such as ‘Mary Magdalene’ and ‘Rest on the fight into Egypt’ feature peacefully sleeping babies and porcelain-skinned beauties. These paintings would create a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere hung in a bedroom.

‘All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles... unless they are made and painted from life, and there can be nothing... better than to follow nature.’

If you love still life paintings, choose a Caravaggio piece like ‘Basket with fruit’ and hang it in a sunny room, such as a country-style kitchen or bright conservatory. Whichever piece you choose, they all have that distinctive Caravaggio style, with its sudden shifts between light and shade!

Choosing the right material for your Caravaggio print

When it comes to choosing the best material for your masterpiece, the top choice would be traditional stretched cotton canvas. This will give you the most authentic finish for your painting, while adding in a floating frame will really add to the museum feel.

If you prefer a more modern material, the intense contrast between light and dark in Caravaggio’s paintings would be beautifully enhanced by printing onto slender Alu-Dibond for a dramatic finish. Acrylic glass would also work well if you want to achieve a sense of depth and gloss, while our high-quality photo paper is the most affordable option – which is not to say it can’t look luxurious when framed!