I was orphaned at the age of 11 and subsequently spent four years as apprentice to Simone Peterzano in Milan before going to Rome in 1593, where I was employed my the Mannerist painter Giuseppe Cesari, for whom I painted fruit and flower pieces.My years with Giuseppe allowed me to develop my style as a realist and, I attempted to paint what was actually there in front of me, not what someone thought should be there.Its like I’ve said before, “It takes as much hard work to do flowers as it does a human figure.”This job wasn’t the most economically sound however, I moved into a cosmopolitan society called Campo Marzio.This wasn’t a nice place to live, it was a decaying neighbourhood of inns, eating houses, temporary shelters, it was appalling, I was virtually without means.At this point in my life I felt hopeless, I was in utter despair, I moved from one unsatisfactory employment to another, the cycle seemed endless.Finally, in 1595 I was at my wits end and I decided that I would try freelance work.I began to paint compositions of my own decisions.I wanted to concentrate on painting common subjects, I often used young men from the street as models for my work.With such a resource at hand, why look to biblical figures and ideals put forth by society?With the help of a dealer named Meastro Vaneltino, I sold some of those paintings and with Valentino’s help, I caught the attention of Cardinal Frencesco Del Monte.Soon after, I was invited to receive board and lodging and a small pension in the house of the Cardinal. Under the Cardinal, I completed the decoration of the Contarellis Chapel in 1602.It was after the completion of this that I had a swarm of orders for pictures, private and ecclesiastical. However, this prosperity didn’t go undisturbed.I was imprisoned in 1603 due to the complaint of another painter and, was only free due to the help of the French Ambassador.In April of 1604 I threw a plate of a…