Artistic Influences on Caravaggio

Simone Peterzone

Simone Peterzone was a pupil of Titan while in Venice.  His debut work San Mauizio al Monastero Maggiore in 1573, shows an influence from Veronese and Tintoretto.  Some of his better known works are the frescoes he painted in the charterhouse of Garegnano.  However, Peterzano is best known for being the master of Caravaggio.


In 1584, at the age of 11, Caravaggio entered into an apprenticeship with Peterzone which lasted four years.  Caravaggio’s years while working with Peterzone are somewhat a mystery.  There are no works that have been definitively attributed to that time.  The early works that are attributed to Caravaggio show that Caravaggio had studied many Lombard and Venetian masters during his time in Milan, including Moretto, Moroni, Savaldo, Giorgione, Lotto, and Titan.

Giuseppe Cesari

Giuseppe Cesari, also known as Cavaliere d’Arpino, was an Italian Mannerist painter.  Born in Rome he was eventually apprenticed to Niccolo Pomarancio.  Cesari’s work was popular and he was patronized in Rome by both Sixtus V and Pope Clement VIII.  He completed a number of important commissions including mosaics for St. Peter’s dome. 

His only direct followers were his sons, Muzio and Bernardino.  However, one of his most notable pupils was Caravaggio who worked in his studio around 1593 – 1594.  Caravaggio primarily painted flowers and fruit while under Cesari.

Cesari was one of the leading Idealist painters of his time rather than the Naturalists of whom Caravaggio became the leading artist. 

Learn more about important people in Caravaggio's life

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Other Great Masters

Caravaggio Prints >

The Lute Player
The Lute Player

The Supper at Emmaus
The Supper at Emmaus

The Fortune Teller
The Fortune Teller