Caravaggio the Late Years

After fleeing Rome Caravaggio moved from place to place hiding and eventually settled in Naples for a time.  While in Naples he executed such works as The Flagellation of Christ, Madonna of the Rosary which was painted for Flemish painter Louis Finson, and The Seven Works of Mercy created for the Chapel of Monte della Misericordia.


In 1608, Caravaggio moved to Malta and was welcomed as a renowned artist.  He was knighted into the Order of Malta after donating the impressive altarpiece, The Beheading of St John the Baptist for the cathedral in Valletta.  Soon after his knighting he was expelled from the Order and was imprisoned.  Caravaggio managed to escape the prison and fled to Sicily. 

Caravaggio’s artistic fame followed him and during short stays moving city to city he worked all the while completing a number of altarpieces.  In Syracuse he created The Burial of St. Lucy, for the Church of Santa Lucia.  In Messina he painted The Resurrection of Lazarus as well as The Adoration of the Shepherds.  In Palermo he painted Adoration with St. Francis and St. Lawrence.  Caravaggio was waiting for a pardon from the Pope which would mean he could return safely to Rome. 

In 1609 Caravaggio again returned to Naples.  He was once again in a fight but this time he was severely wounded.  After several months of convalescence he sailed from Naples to Rome in July of 1610.  His small boat carrying all of his possessions made a stop at Palo.  Caravaggio was mistakenly captured when he exited the boat and was imprisoned for two days before being released.  Upon release he discovered that his boat, with all of his things was gone.  Caravaggio set out to overtake the boat at Port’Ercole.  He died a few days later of pneumonia on July 18, 1610.  Three days following his death a document granting his pardon arrived from Rome.

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Other Great Masters

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