The Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio, short for Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), was known primarily for his powerful contrasts of light and dark and his rendering of saints as ordinary people. To intensify the drama in his compositions he zoomed in on his models, whom he usually portrayed half-length. He also created theatrical effects by using sources of light outside the picture plane to illuminate the scenes. A number of artists in the Netherlands, particularly in Utrecht, began following Caravaggio’s style around 1620. These Utrecht Caravaggisti adopted the Italian painter’s light effects, his close-up technique and his realism. The most famous of them - Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerard van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen - had seen Caravaggio’s work first hand during their sojourn in Rome. Upon their return, the Caravaggisti inspired other painters, including their own teacher Abraham Bloemaert. Rembrandt, who never visited Italy, also became acquainted with Caravaggio’s dramatic light effects via the work of other artists.