The Musician

Cecco de Caravaggio (c.1590-1630)

Traditionally thought to represent a conjurer, perhaps because of the elaborate costume and what was thought to be a ball in his mouth and a coin in his hand. The painting is now known as ‘The Musician’.

The figure has a whistle in his mouth and is holding a tambourine and caught in the act of performing. It could represent a well-known contemporary because of its portrait-like quality. The painting has been dated to around 1615.

Francesco Buoneri, known as Cecco (short for Francesco) de Caravaggio was, as his name suggests, a close friend and follower of Caravaggio.

Born in Tuscany there are few facts known about his life but it is thought that he lived with Caravaggio in 1605 in Rome. He died around 1620.

Cecco was amongst the first wave of Caravaggio followers and one of the few that knew him personally before his departure from Rome in 1606.