Michele Angelo Merigi da Caravaggio, more commonly known simply as Caravaggio, was an Italian painter who lived from 1571-09-29 — 1610-07-18. He was important in the formation of the Baroque painting technique and his style is noted by high contrast between the subjects and background. As with many painters of his time and locale, much of his work focused on Christianity. Caravaggio was known for being very violent and easily angered which led him into many fights and may have been the reason for his early demise. Although he died young at the age of 38, he was a famous painter in his lifetime and had a strong influence on later painters like Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jusepe de Ribera.
I've never been a huge fan of Caravaggio's catalog, but I do love his high-contrast style. There have only been a few of his paintings that have really struck me.