The Dark Master


THE SUPPER AT EMMAUS, 1606 A subdued vision of Christ's resurrection

Nobody disputes Caravaggio's immense achievement. Yet it's hard not to wonder what he might have accomplished if he had lived into old age — say 45? As a young man he amassed a police record worthy of a rap star: arrests, citations, imprisonments, most of them connected to brawls and knife fights. In May 1606, when he was around 34, he killed a man with a sword, in a fight over a wager placed on a tennis match. Badly wounded, facing a murder charge and a sentence of death, he fled Rome, the scene of his early triumphs as a painter....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!