His name recalls a small town in the province of Bergamo. And so we believed his birthplace as such for a long time. But recently, researchers found unmistakable proof that Caravaggio was born in Milan. They discovered the original certificate of the painter’s baptism, found in the Liber Baptizatorum of the parish of Santo Stefano in Brolo. Merisi, it seems, came into this world in the city on 29 September in 1571 - the day of Saint Michael the Archangel, from which his name Michelangelo derives. His parents, however, were from Caravaggio and the artist, at a young age, fled with them to the town in order to escape the ravages of the plague. Yet this was a mere parenthesis in his life, as the Master of light and darkness was educated in Milan, learning the secrets of his trade in the studio of Simone Peterzano, a native of the Serenissima Republic, Venice. And thus, Venetian and Lombard influences came together in a new style of painting which would soon revolutionise the relationship between art and reality. But the young Merisi was restless and combative, stirring discord wherever he went. The ground trembled under his feet, his love for art burned in his heart. He went off to Rome. Nothing remains of the works he created in Milan. Yet the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana conserves the Fruit Basket he painted for Cardinal Borromeo when he was already in the Eternal City and, in Brera, The Supper at Emmaus still shines.
Fragile and magnetic, a young woman stares out at the spectator beyond the canvas - not even its creator could pull himself away from the portrait of Concha Emiliana de Ossa, today in the collec-tion of the Pinacoteca of Brera.