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The young artist arrived in Rome "naked and extremely needy ... It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism.
Minniti served Caravaggio as a model and, years later, would be instrumental in helping him to obtain important commissions in Sicily.Caravaggio's mother died in 1584, the same year he began his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian.Caravaggio appears to have stayed in the Milan-Caravaggio area after his apprenticeship ended, but it is possible that he visited Venice and saw the works of Giorgione, whom Federico Zuccari later accused him of imitating, and Titian.Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan before moving in his twenties to Rome.He developed a considerable name as an artist, and as a violent, touchy and provocative man.
Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism.