Caravaggio is variously labeled a uniquely gifted artist and an arrogant, rebellious, and dangerously violent murderer. But for all his wild behavior, he was a profoundly religious man. Caravaggio, the first artist to bring realism to painting, is considered by many to be the greatest Baroque painter of all. The Old and New Testaments are brought vividly to light by Caravaggio’s talent. Many of his paintings depict the grace of God as a shaft of light pouring from above to annoint his subject. By keeping his backgrounds very dark, if not completely black, Caravaggio further spotlighted the figures in the foreground that told the story. Many modern art historians consider Caravaggio to have been mentally ill, and he was described even by his admirers as being uno cervello stravagantissimo, or an exceptionally odd man. Nevertheless, Caravaggio gained a significant reputation at an early age. His achievements did not protect him from a murder charge, however, and he fled first to Naples and then to Malta.