The sixteenth century in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. It was the beginning of the modern era, and it saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life. The century opened with the discovery of a new continent
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- His works are characteristic dark backgrounds and bright highlights called tenebroso
Ganges, symbolizing the continent of Asia, holds an oar and looks solemnly over the piazza. The Nile statue personifies Africa. The sculpture's face is covered with a robe to characterize the mystery that surrounds the continent. A palm tree rises from the base and lions come from the crevasse in the rock for a drink. Finally, the Rio della Plata symbolizes the Americas and shrinks against the rock with his arms raised. As he leans back, he guards a treasure of coins. The Plata is portrayed as a black man and has some Moorish features to him, such as the jeweled leg-band. Even the fountains drain was given a creative twist and turned into a fish with its mouth open, as if drinking the water.
Annibale Carracci was born in Bologna, and in all likelihood first apprenticed within his family. In 1582, Annibale, his brother Agostino, and his cousin Ludovico Carracci opened a painter's studio, called by some initially as the Academy of Desiderosi (Desirous of fame and learning) or subsequently of the (progressives; literally "of those opening a new way"). While the Carraccis laid emphasis on the typically Florentine linear draftsmanship, as exemplified by Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, their style also derived from Venetian painters an attention to the glimmering colors and mistier edge of objects. This eclecticism would define artists of the Baroque Emilian or Bolognese School.
He was born Michelangelo Merisi on Sept. 28, 1571, in Caravaggio, in the Lombardy region of Italy. As an adult he would become known by the name of his birthplace. Orphaned at age 11, he was apprenticed to the painter Simone Peterzano of Milan for four years. At some time between 1588 and 1592, Caravaggio went to Rome and worked as an assistant to painters of lesser skill. About 1595 he began to sell his paintings through a dealer. The dealer brought Caravaggio to the attention of Cardinal Francesco del Monte.
Caravaggio like many of the painters from Lombardy favored the realistic art with an interest in still-life. When he began to paint on his own he continued to paint still-life but also painted half-length figures as in his Bacchus portrait. An agent offered to market his paintings and painted for a small circle of sophisticated patrons in Rome.
Through the cardinal, Caravaggio was commissioned, at age 24, to paint for the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. In its Contarelli Chapel Caravaggio's realistic naturalism first fully appeared in three scenes he created of the life of St. Matthew. The works caused public outcry, however, because of their realistic and dramatic nature.
His works are characteristic dark backgrounds and bright highlights called tenebroso
Caravaggio was always in trouble. In 1592, when he was not yet twenty, he fled Milan after 'certain quarrels' and the wounding of a police officer. He went to Rome and was there, for the most part, until 1606, when he again had to flee. His life in Rome was of growing financial and professional success, but it was also punctuated with crime. In the years 1600-1606 alone, he was brought to trial no less than eleven times. The charges covered a variety of offences, most involved violence.
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