Arrival to Naples After bursting on to the Roman art scene in 1600, Caravaggio was forced to flee the Eternal City in 1606. His explosive temper had gotten the best of him, culminating in murder by the sword. Outlawed, the artist fled to Naples under the protection of the Colonna Family. It was during his first sojourn to Naples (1606-07) that Caravaggio painted this masterpiece for the Neapolitan church of San Domenico Maggiore.
The Scene We approach unannounced amidst a scene of immense brutality. Three assailants lurking in the shadows circle about the central figure of Christ who is emblazoned within a brilliant vertical shaft of light. Caravaggio depicts the prelude to Christ's crucifixion, known in art as the "Flagellation of Christ."
Revolution Caravaggio's revolutionary style had a profound impact on European art, and his influence was particularly felt in Naples, as the painter made a second sojourn to the city between 1609-10. His dynamic canvases exhibit a strong contrast of light and shadow known as "chiaroscuro," accentuating the drama of his scenes.
Legacy The legacy of Caravaggio's striking style, granting devotional immediacy and gritty realism to his subjects, can be seen at Capodimonte in the works of Battistello, Stanzione, Cavallino, Jusepe de Ribera and Mattia Preti - only to name a few.