44) Mars and Venus united by love by Paolo Veronese 1528-1588
Born the son of a stoneworker and apprenticed to a painting workshop at an early age, Veronese rose to become one of the three most important Venetian painters. He was an exponent of the late renaissance style called mannerism. Mannerism is what happened after the classical period off the high renaissance. Artists began to work in more stylish and idiosyncratic styles. They also grew less interested in the classical examples of the ancients. An artificiality and heightened color gave a "look" that had an element of "fashion" to it, as opposed to the timeless reserve of the high minded classicists. Here Mars disrobes Venus with some help from a precocious baby who pins one of her legs.
Veronese is held up as a great colorist. Below is an example of the glowing but mannered color of which he was capable.
45) Feast at the house of Levi also Veronese.
This enormous picture is a last supper. I think if you click on it you will see a much larger image. It was painted for the dining room of a basilica and Veronese included all sorts of random folks like German soldiers and some nice dwarfs. This was noticed by the Inquisition and he was called upon to defend the painting. He did that, and his statement is part of the great body of artists writings that are occasionally referenced by scholars. He solved the problem not by removing the interlopers from the dinner scene, but by changing it's title to The feast of Levi.
46) The calling of Saint Mathew by Caravaggio 1571-1610
A complicated character, Caravaggio developed a style based on extreme chiaroscuro, or light and dark. He enveloped subjects in deep shadow and then sent rays of light into his scenes to provide drama, like the lighting in a theater. He worked direct from nature, posing models as he worked. He had a realism which was unique at the time and was able to secure many commissions. However he had a dark side. Caravaggio was given to street fighting and was arrested many times. Italy of the day was a rough place and even in that world he was an extraordinarily combative thug.
In 1606 he killed a man in a fight and had to flee from Rome to Naples. He established himself there, Italy was not a united country and Naples was its own city state, so he was beyond the reach of the authorities from Rome. There he executed a number of important commissions for the church. As difficult as he was he seemed to be valued so highly that he was still in demand.In 1608 he was arrested and imprisoned in Malta after another brawl where he kicked down a door and attacking and seriously injuring a knight who must have had better connections than his previous assaultees. Caravaggio escaped to Sicily and continued to paint commissions for the churches there.
He grew stranger and crazier and upon to returning to Naples was attacked by some enemy he had made, who that was, is now lost to history but his face was disfigured. He died of a fever in 1610.
Caravaggio's pictures were an influence on many later artists who were inspired by his use of light and shadow,. Rembrandt is probably the best example. Many of the painters he influenced were referred to as Caravaggisti. Caravaggio was forgotten except by the coterie of artists who saw his art on their trips to Italy, until the 20th century when his enormous influence was recognized as a common thread running through many generations of painters.
47) The entombment of Christ, Caravaggio
Some images from artrenewal.org.