In 1609, Caravaggio returned to Naples from Palmero where he spent several months recovering from a fight in which he had been injured and waiting for the Pope to issue him a pardon so he could return to Rome. It is believed that it was here that Caravaggio created his large altarpiece, Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence. The painting depicts the infant Christ child on a pile of hay while a weary Mary looks on with an angel overhead and surrounded by men, one of whom we assume to be Joseph. One of the other men is St. Francis of Assisi standing behind the family in his brown …..
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 …..
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 …..