Among the many great Italian artists whose work you can admire in Rome is Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, who lived in the late 16th century and early 17th century.

Among the many great Italian artists whose work you can admire in Rome is Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, who lived in the late 16th century and early 17th century. 
Caravaggio is famed for his innovative use of light in paintings and his tumultuous private life. Many of the masterpieces he created are scattered throughout many churches in Rome.

Where to admire the works of Caravaggio in Rome

Museums featuring Caravaggio paintings include Palazzo Barberini ("Judith beheading Holofernes", "Narcissus") and Galleria Borghese ("Boy with a Basket of Fruit").

You can also find a Caravaggio at the Vatican Museums ("Deposition from the Cross").

One of the must-see churches, with free admission, is the church of San Luigi dei Francesi near Piazza Navona, featuring his famous frescoes of St. Matthew: "The Calling of St. Matthew", "The Martyrdom of St. Matthew", "St. Matthew and the Angel".

caravaggio in rome

The church of Sant'Agostino is not far from here, where you can find "Madonna del Loreto".

Inside the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the square of the same name (the one with the two almost identical churches and the Flaminio obelisk in the middle), you can see his "Crucifixion of Saint Peter" and the "Conversion of St Paul".

Unfortunately, other works were taken away from Rome and are now seen in the museums of Paris (Louvre), London, Florence, New York, Berlin, and so on.

Four fascinating facts about Caravaggio:

  1. His name came from his family’s native town in Lombardy, not far from Milan. 
  2. His father was an architect who worked on building the Cathedral of Milan, which took centuries.
  3. Caravaggio’s famous murder conviction on February 28, 1606, which made him a fugitive for the rest of his life, involved a decapitation. Tragically, he died shortly before being pardoned.
  4. For years, it was debated where he died and had been buried. Many said that he had died from illness in Porto Ercole, on the Tuscan coast, where there is even a commemorative monument. In 2010, a DNA test was even done on some of his alleged remains!


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