Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) was a revolutionary painter who has produced some of Italy’s best known artworks. An outspoken a fiery man, Caravaggio transmitted his lust for life through brushstrokes. He refined and honed the chiaroscuro style of painting, which depicts subjects in dramatic contrast with deep shadows and swathes of bright light.
Caravaggio was inspired by the scientific naturalist movement in Northern Italy in the 1600s, and developed a style of painting that is remarkably realistic. Considered by many as the birth of modern painting, Caravaggio’s works changed the landscape of art forever. His influence can be seen not only in Italy, but all over the world.
Basket of fruit
As a revolutionary, Caravaggio juxtaposed ideas and techniques never previously seen. Our labels feature the still life painting Basket of Fruit (c.1601); a work that epitomises some of Caravaggio’s key themes of daily Italian life, man and nature. The many types of grapes visible in the painting show the importance and prevalence of noble grapes, and therefore wine, in Italy at the time.