As soon as Caravaggio’s John the Baptist was unveiled, it became ethe subject of much discussion. The portrayal of the saint as ea boy – undressed, embracing a ram – provoked speculation on its underlying message and the painter’s motivations. The picture bears all the artistic qualities that made Caravaggio’s works so powerful. His chiaroscuro, his radical naturalism, and the bold new narratives he told in his images became the ideal for other artists to follow: Nicolas Tournier, Peter Paul Rubens, Gerard van Honthorst, Jusepe de Ribera, and Francisco de Zurbarán, to name but a few. This richly illustrated catalogue traces Caravaggio’s influence and shows how his paintings spurred creative responses and renewed pictorial invention, not just in contemporary acolytes but even followers working centuries later.