There are men who remind us that the flow of history is neither unhurried nor measured. Caravaggio (1571-1610) was one of these, thanks to innovations that were so radical they changed the course of Occidental painting. A notorious troublemaker – he was convicted of murder – he never ceased painting, be it under the protection of liberal patrons or on the run from papal justice. The disparity between the suspended moments he captured on canvas and his wayward wanderings punctuated with actions suggests that, despite the seminal nature of his work, his creative powers never quite prevailed over the attraction of the abyss he staged right from his early production. The drift accelerated in later years whilst he still engaged, sheltered by his canvas, in large religious compositions, exploring themes of despair and seeking out divine release.