Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio arrived in Malta on July 12, 1607 after being forced to flee Naples for once again causing trouble. It is believed he might have traveled to Malta with the Knights of Malta’s galley squadron which were commanded by Fabrizio Sforza Colonna, the son of the Marquis of Caravaggio. Malta was the headquarters for the Knights of Malta, Order of St. John, and according to Caravaggio’s early biographers the artist immediately began painting portraits of the highest ranking Knights including Alof de Wignacourt, the Grand Master. Caravaggio’s Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt and his Page portrays the Grand Master in his shiny formal black and gold Milanese …..
On one hand Baroque master, Caravaggio, rubbed elbows with wealthy and powerful people such as the Borghese family and Cardinal del Monte, and on the other he befriended what would be considered a more unsavory bunch including Fillide Melandroni. Fillide was born in Siena in 1581. She later moved to Rome and entered into a career of prostitution by the age of only 16. Fillide was one of Rome’s most well-known and successful prostitutes, sought after by the elite of Rome. During the 16th century prostitution was a prominent feature, though a moral dilemma, of Rome’s landscape and one that was enjoyed even by the noblemen of the day. Caravaggio …..
Scipione Borghese was an Italian Cardinal as well as being a patron of Caravaggio. Born Scipione Caffarelli, the avid art collector, had his education funded by his maternal uncle, Camillo Borghese. Camillo was elected Pope Paul V in 1605 and quickly offered Scipione a position as Cardinal as well as the right to use the name Borghese and the family coat of arms. As the secretary of the Pope and the appointed superintendent general of the Papal States, Cardinal Borghese found himself in a position of great power and had access to great wealth. The Pope entrusted his nephew with managing the finances of the papacy as well as of …..