Monday, July 21, 2008

Caravaggio in Rome

It is possible to enjoy the works of the great master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (the other Michelangelo) without paying museum entrance fees. Three churches house several of the painters works and all are free to visitors. At Santa Maria del Popolo (in Piazza del Popolo) you can see The Crucifixion of St. Peter and The Conversion of St. Paul. The Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, near Piazza Navona, has three Caravaggios dedicated to St. Matthew. Also next to Piazza Navona is the church of Sant'Augostino whose facade is made of travertine from the Colosseum. Inside you can see the Madonna of the Pilgrims (pictured), which is remarkable for its realistic portrayal of common people. Caravaggio is known for his heightened use of shadows and light (chiaroscuro) and was once a pupil of the great Venetian painter, Titian. At one point, Caravaggio was the most renowned painter in Rome.

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