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A term associated with the style of the Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), who was known for his thematic and stylistic innovations in painting, including the theatrical depiction of figures with dramatic gestures, and strong contrasts of light and dark (chiaroscuro). This style became popular among Netherlandish artists, particularly those in Utrecht, in the 1610s and 1620s. These so-called Utrecht Caravaggisti, such as Hendrick ter Brugghen, became acquainted with Caravaggio’s work during their time in Rome and disseminated this knowledge to artists throughout the Netherlands.

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