Caravaggio’s mysterious death at the age of 38 has been blamed variously on malaria, an intestinal infection, lead poisoning from the oil paints he used or a violent brawl.
Now an intriguing new theory has been put forward for the demise of the rabble-rousing Renaissance artist Caravaggio – that he was killed in cold blood on the orders of the Knights of Malta to avenge an attack on one of their members.
The chivalric order, which was formed during the Crusades, hunted down the painter because he had seriously wounded a knight during a fight, according to Vincenzo Pacelli, an Italian historian and expert on Caravaggio.
The death of Caravaggio, who earned notoriety during his lifetime for his quick temper and hell-raising ways, has long been shrouded in mystery... ( Telegraph, 03/04/12)
Let's leave it to the historians to determine whether or not Pacelli's theory is true. As for me, when it comes to Merisi, I simply prefer to enjoy the work of this great master of chiaroscuro. Have a look ...
Conversion of Saint Paul, 1601. Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome.
The Entombment of Christ, 1602–1603. Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome.
Supper at Emmaus, 1601. Oil on canvas, 139 × 195 cm (55 × 77 in). National Gallery, London.
David with the Head of Goliath, 1609–1610. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
St. Jerome, 1605–1606. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
The Seven Works of Mercy, 1606–1607. Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples.
Amor Vincit Omnia, c 1602. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter, 1601. Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome
Basket of Fruit, c. 1595–1596. Oil on canvas. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan.
Boy with a Basket of Fruit, 1593–1594. Oil on canvas, 67 × 53 cm. Galleria Borghese, Rome
The Calling of Saint Matthew, 1599–1600. Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.
Judith Beheading Holofernes 1598–1599. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.