Thursday, November 17, 2011


Basket of Fruit
c. 1597
Oil on canvas
31 cm (12.2 in) x 47 cm (18.5 in)
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

It shows a wicker basket perched on the edge of a ledge which contains a selection of summer fruit, with extraordinary quasi-photographic realism of the observation which underlies the illusionism.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.

He was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. Despite this, his influence was profound. It can be seen in the work of Rubens, Rembrandt, and artists in the following generation. Heavily under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques". It is said, "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting."