This was a lot more fun that I thought would be and I have mucked about a bit pretending to write in a style I think of as early 17thC!!! Not sure if I was supposed to write more about the kind of work that Caravaggio would produce but enjoyed researching more about his life etc. Wrote it in Word and used a nice curly font which makes it look more authentic too. Decided to do this option as really struggled thinking abouty how to tackle the option of selecting works for the Cardinals rooms.
On the 26th day of May in the year 1607
My dearest colleague
Our mutual friend de Marchoni has informed me that you are in the business of commissioning a work from one of the great artists of our age, de Marchoni has asked that I act as advisor to you in this matter as I am knowledgeable in the works of these fine men.
I would like to recommend to you the artist Caravaggio as in my opinion and that of many other men of this city he has a mastery unknown before and has a use of the light and dark within his paintings that is unseen before his time and is copied by many men but not matched in his expertise.
You may have heard of the reputation of Caravaggio and that he is a man who is very ready with his temper and with his sword. Indeed it is told that he did kill a man last year with his sword when he did reside in the city of Rome and at that time he did flee to our city of Naples. There may be truth in this story but we must only be grateful that we are able to give home to a genius and it is true that many men of great skill and talent do have a temper that is most firey. I must admit that the man is rouge and a blaggard and when he is not painting he does carouse around with his followers but he is also a hard worker and will produce for you a work of the finest quality and definition and in goodly time also.
If you should so wish for Caravaggio to produce a work for you his skill lies in making pictures that are on fine stretched canvas and made with paints of pigments and oils. He paints very fine religious scenes and as such can not be a man that is all bad and devilish. He is also much regarded for painting scenes of everyday life which tell in one simple image a story to the viewer. He is famed for his works the Fortune Teller and the Card Sharps and if you are able to view these images you will see his work is fine indeed.
I would suggest you commission of him to paint for you a depiction of an event in the life of one of our most holy saints. You will find that they way he treats his subjects will make you relate them to the real life men that you see around the streets of the city and it will mean that you feel closer to the saints in this very way. He has a way of painting a man that is so real to life and natural in its forms that it does make you feel like he may be able to reach out and touch your very hand.
You will find that his pictures have such bright light and have the contrasts of such darkness. He is such a master of this style that it has been named for him and other men like to paint with this much more pronounced chiaroscuro that has been called the tenebrism but some men would call it the Caravaggism.
I recommend again to you that you disregard the tales that you may hear of the ways of this master and if you would consider him for your commission I am able to arrange for you to meet and discuss the matter further.
Yours most truly