The Sicilian Renaissance from Antonello da Messina to Caravaggio
Time & Location
About the Event
Sicily is rightly renowned for its ancient, Islamic/Norman, and Baroque art, but the island
kingdom also played a highly significant role in the development of the Renaissance.
Antonello da Messina (1430-79) was born and raised in the Sicilian port of Messina,
where he was the first Italian artist to paint intense portraits and religious images in oils,
a technique he then taught to the Bellini workshop in Venice. Antonello’s hometown and
Palermo both still boast some of the most extraordinary public fountains of the sixteenth
century. Caravaggio (Michelangelo da Merisi, 1571-1610) left his mark on the island,
too. He spent the last few years of his tragically short life in Sicily painting some of his
most dramatic and haunting canvases, a fitting culmination to the Renaissance in Sicily.