Caravaggio broke away from the traditional interpretation of religious subjects, trying to paint them realistically. One of Caravaggio's earliest commissioned works called for three large paintings depicting scenes from the life of St. Matthew. Caravaggio used a dramatic realism for the paintings that resulted in public astonishment and was even considered offensive. This reaction marked a change in the artist's style and he then devoted himself to the painting of traditional themes. However, he continued to give a new interpretation by choosing subjects that were placed in a violent or macabre role. He took models from the streets in order to remove the subject from their idealized roles. Caravaggio was at the forefront of the Baroque period and influenced many artists including Gentilesche and Rubens.
Artemesia Gentilesche is one of the few well-known female artists of her era. She is known for her use of strong contrast of light and dark in a dramatic presentation, as was used