Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggion was an Italian painter born on 28 September 1571 in Milan and died 18 July 1610 Porto Ercole, Spanish Empire.
His paintings combine a realistic combination of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, Caravaggio vividly expressed crucual moments and scenes often featuring violoent struggles, torture and death. He worked rapidly, with live models and workeddirectly on to camvas.
He trained as a painter in Milan, before moving to Rome. He developed a name not only as an artist but as a violent, touchy and provocative man. A brawl led to a death sentence for murder and forced him to flee to Naples. He later travelled to Malta and onto Sicily while pursuing a papal pardon.
In 1609 he returned to Rome where he was involved in a violent clash which disfigured his face. Questions about his mental state arose from his erratic and bizarre behaviour. He died in 1610 under uncertain circumstances – died of a fever, died from lead poisoning or was murdered!
The painting Medusa, featured above, was an oil on canvas over convex poplar wood shield c1597 and can be found in the Uffizi Gallary, Florence.