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 …..
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 …..