Artist: Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) (Italian, Milan or Caravaggio 1571–1610 Porto Ercole)
Date: ca. 1595
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 36 1/4 x 46 5/8 in. (92.1 x 118.4 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1952
Accession Number: 52.81
Trained in Lombardy, Caravaggio moved to Rome around 1592, and he initially made his reputation with a number of realistic paintings of half-length figures, such as this one. This canvas was painted for his first great patron, Cardinal Francesco del Monte. Although it was described by contemporaries as "una musica" (a music piece), it is an allegory of music. Cupid is shown at left. The costumes have a vaguely classical look and Caravaggio included his self-portrait in the second boy from the right.