Caravaggio painted The Musicians for his first patron, Cardinal Francesco del Monte. It is believed that this might be the first painting Caravaggio created specifically for the Cardinal. Woven through the painting are the characteristics of love and music making a statement about the painful side of love and the value of music. Paintings that highlighted the theme of music during this time period were popular since the church was undergoing a shift in musical styles and forms. In the painting, we see four boys, three of whom are playing instruments or singing and the fourth, Cupid, can be seen in the left corner reaching for a bundle of grapes …..
In 1606, Caravaggio fled to Naples from Rome after killing a man. While seeking safety with the Colonna family in Naples, Caravaggio earned a commission which would later prove to be one of his most defining works, The Seven Works of Mercy (Sette Opere di Misericordia). Caravaggio planned to create seven separate panels to depict the seven works, or acts, of mercy however, he instead combined all the acts into one composition. Six of the acts of mercy are from the Biblical book of Matthew and the seventh act is from the book of Tobias: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you …..