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Biography Assignment: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Essay Sample)


Write a biography on an artist whose active period falls within the timeframe of this course. Be as thorough as possible. Please note: Make sure to choose an artist early and gather your resources as we don't have a lot of information on earlier artists – you may have to choose another artist.
Include the following information:
1. Artist's background – well-known personality traits, childhood family life, education and training, marriage, children, important dates like birth, death, major exhibitions, etc. (50 points)
2. Career - major successes or failures, well known works, medium the artist worked in, typical subject matter, styles the artist worked in (40 points)
3. Lifetime – Major events/technology that occurred in the artist's lifetime that shaped his/her work (40 points)
4. Influences – who influenced the artist and whom the artist influenced; include an example of another artist's work that you believe was influenced by your chosen artist and describe those characteristics (40 points)
5. Conclusion - Why did you choose the artist? What did you learn? (10 points)
Important Guidelines:
• Organize this material into a 4 page formal research paper.
• It should be double spaced with a 1” margin and type size should not exceed 12 pts.
• Art History, as a discipline, utilizes the MLA style.
• Please use at least two book and unlimited internet resources.
• Always cite your sources!
• Please read the document, “Important-Tips to Avoid Plagiarism” located in the Content section.
• Please note: Wikipedia and other "Wiki-" websites are not acceptable sources of information for any assignment in this class.


Biography: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Student’s Name
Institution Affiliation Biography: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi was an Italian painter of the 15th century and is considered one of the pioneers of the modern painting. Starting out as an apprentice painter in Milan at the age of eleven, Michelangelo later moved to Rome to start a solo career. However, his career was short-lived as he later fled Rome due to a violation of the law and passed on not long after. In this research biography, emphasis will be laid on the artists’ background, career, lifetime, achievement, and influences.
Artist background
Michelangelo was born in 1571 in Italy’s city of Milan. The family was later forced to move to Caravaggio to evade a plague that had claimed the lives of his family members. Unfortunately, his parents succumbed to the plague when he was aged 11 years old. Michelangelo was then forced to move back to Milan as an orphan and apprentice as a painter. His master had expertise in fresco painting, however, evident from his works, the young artist did not master this art. Michelangelo did not pay much attention to his studies and is known to have gone on to learn swordsmanship.
Michelangelo never got to get married nor did he have any children. He lived in hard times and often fell on the wrong side of the law. For instance, he after moving to Rome, he got into a fight with a man who he later stabbed to death. He then fled and went to Naples escaping justice (Smith, 2015). From Naples, he went to Malta, where he got accepted to the religious, military order. His temper, however, got him into a fight with a fellow knight and was expelled to Naples. He later got the pardon from the pope over his murder in Rome and set to return; he, however, died of illness before boarding a ship to Rome in 1610.
After his apprentice in Milan, Michelangelo decided to go to Rome in 1592 to start his career as a painter. First, he started working as workshop assistant under Giuseppe Caesare. However, he later went freelance painting works for the public. His first successful paintings included “the cardsharps” “Bacchus” for the public. However, his major paintings that launched his career included the paintings of St Mathew for the contarelli chapel, and the works commissioned by cardinal del monte referred as “the musicians, the lute player, and the stigmatization of St. Francis”.
His style in painting was controversial and often depicted Bible stories from a realist point of view. His style was unique and included shadows to the paintings. His medium of choice was the use of oil and canvas, which he directly painted on without making prior preparations. Many of Caravaggio’s paintings were controversial and often evoked trouble from the religious leaders. However, the style also attracted others in society, and it later was named the baroque painting style. However, the artist’s lifestyle led to a failure in his career; this is especially after fleeing Rome to evade justice after killing a person. He thus failed to complete some of his commissioned works.
Lifetime of Caravaggio
Caravaggio life was full of various events which significantly shaped the nature of his artistic works. For instance, his parent’s death when he was aged twelve years old made him live a hot-tempered life. The death of his parents changed his life, and he seemed to live a troubled life. He would later paint controversial painting as the eye saw them without using the idolizing methods. Also, it is rumored that during his early age, he must have taken a trip to Venice. This trip explains his fast way of drawing his artworks. Venetian painters were known to paint using the oil and canvass directly without using early preparations. Caravaggio was also known to paint directly to the canvass hence making his work fast.
His troubled lifestyle also contributed the events in Caravaggio's life. Historians have often described Caravaggio as a mad man who was always armed and ready for an argument. After killing a person in Rome, he escaped to other regions in Italy, i.e., Naples, Malta and Sicily (Giesen, 2014). It was in this area that he met new people and often painted for them. For instance, the painting such as “beheading of st john the Baptist” was done in Malta for the cathedral in Valletta. Other paintings done while he was on the run include “the resurrection of Lazarus,” and “the adoration of shepherds.” Done in Messina.
The painting works of Caravaggio have made him one of the most famous painters from Rome. This feat comes with talents and the influences he had in his career. Some of the early influences on Caravaggio includes his apprentice under Simone Peterzone. Peterzone was a pupil in Venice before coming to Milan. His Venice influence also influenced Caravaggio who used to work directly on the canvass without prior preparedness. Also, Caravaggio was influenced by Giuseppe Cesare whom he worked under in Rome before working solo. Much of Giuseppe’s influence included painting fruits on the paintings.
Caravaggio’s paintings ...
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