Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome during the Baroque period. He lived from 1571 to 1610 and is known for his realistic observation of the human condition and dramatic use of lighting which greatly influenced Baroque painting. Caravaggio pioneered the technique of chiaroscuro, using strong contrasts of light and shadow, giving his works a powerful and theatrical effect. His paintings often depicted intense and violent scenes, showcasing struggles, torture, and death. Caravaggio's notable pieces include The Calling of Saint Matthew and The Conversion of Saint Paul. His influence can be seen in the works of artists such as Rubens, Ribera, Bernini, and Rembrandt.