Caravaggio, Influences and Followers

Michelangelo Merisi (Michele Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio 1571 – 1610) is commonly known as Caravaggio. He is the subject of an exhibition at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Il tempo di Caravaggio (Caravaggio’s Time) that displays items from the collection of Roberto Longhi. Longhi was a Professor of Art History at the University of Bologna and later at the University of Florence. His 1911 dissertation was about Caravaggio. His exhibitions on the painter in the 1950’s spurned interest in Caravaggio, who had been largely forgotten.

Here I will show you examples of the work of Caravaggio and other artists featured in the exposition. Photos were not allowed so I had to use photos I found in the public domain. I did not note the names of the paintings so I used examples that show affinity to Caravaggio.

Otavo Leoni (1578-1630)

portrait of carravaggio Ottavio Leoni
Portrait of Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni, included here just for curiosity’s sake

Caravaggio is a master of light. He did not invent the approach but he did it with great skill, igniting an international following. Here is a good example of his approach, allowing a good comparison to the paintings of his followers that follow below.

The Taking of Christ, Caravaggio 1602, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
boy-bitten-by-lizard-carravaggio in longhi collection
Boy Bitten by Lizard, Carravaggio, in the Longhi Collection. This work is far less dramatically lit than the works for which he has become so famous.

Battista de Moro  (1512 – after 1568) is one of few painters, perhaps the only in the exhibition, who came before Caravaggio.

Santa Nicola Agostino and Antonio Abate, 1535


Bartolomeo Passrotti (1529–1592) worked primarily in his hometown of Bologna.

Bartolomeo Passrotti Le Pollarole

Pier Francisco Mazzucchelli 1573–1626 

Beheading of St John the Baptist (Decollazione del Battista), Mazzucchelli

Angelo Caroselli or Carosèlli (1585–1652) 

Angelo_Caroselli, Singing Man

Domenico Fetti  (c 1589-1623)

Accademia - La Meditazione by Domenico Fetti 1618
La Meditazione, Domenico Fetti 1618

Valentin  de Boulogne (c 1591 – 1632) French

Valentin de Boulogne, John and Jesus

Gerrit Van Honthorst

Gerard van Honthorst, Granida and Daifilo

Gioacchino Assereto (1600-1649)

Gioacchino Assereto, Death of Cato

Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (1598–1669)

Ferrari, Semiramis Receiving Word of the Revolt of Babylon

Dirck Van Baburen Dirck Jaspersz. van Baburen (c. 1595 – 21 February 1624), Dutch and one of the group called the Utrecht Caravaggisti. 

De luitspeler
Lute Player, Babur Compare to Caravaggio’s painting of a lute player below
Caravaggio_Lute Player_NY
Lute Player by Caravaggio

Matthias Stom or Matthias Stomer (c. 1600 – c 1653) was Dutch or Flemish.  He was influenced by the Utrecht Caravaggiasts.

Matthias Stom, “The Death of Brutus”



...  The Times of Caravaggio opens with four small panels by Venetian Lorenzo Lotto who inspired Caravaggio’s interest in bright light, and Bolognese Bartolomeo Passarotti’s canvas of a market scene, which possibly triggered his obsession for still lifes and portraits of “low-class” people. Of particular interest in this first of five rooms is Longhi’s canvas, A Boy Peeling Fruit. There are three other copies of this early work all dating to 1592-93, all believed by many scholars including Longhi, who included it in the 1951 exhibition, to be Caravaggio’s earliest work painted upon his arrival in Rome. …Longhi also suggested that Caravaggio borrowed the motif of the bitten finger from a Boy Bitten by a Crab, a drawing by a prominent Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anuissola.  As for the model, some scholars suggest Mario Minniti, Caravaggio’s companion and the model for several other Caravaggio paintings.  Others believe it is a disguised self-portrait.

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