The Metropolitan Museum collected two paintings that Caravaggio created in the last months of his life. They will be presented at an exhibition that reflects the artist's struggle for reconciliation with his stormy personal saga.

By all accounts, Caravaggio was a self-destructive person with a rather complex character: the artist was addicted to gambling, loved to drink and run a dissolute life. In the end, he faced a painful death, although it is still unknown whether he was killed or the artist died because of illness.

The artist was in a very tense state when he was signing his last two masterpieces, "The Denial of St. Peter" and "The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula". He fled from Rome because of the murder of a famous local pimp, and before that he left Malta after the attack on Fra Giovanni Rodomonte Roero, a high-ranking knight in the Maltese order of St. John, who pursued him to take revenge.

The reunion of paintings occurred in 2004 for the first time, and this exhibition is just a rare opportunity to see these dark scenes side by side.

The painting "The Denial of St. Peter" created for sale in the Neapolitan art market (1610), which today belongs to the Metropolitan, depicts a woman accusing the saint of being a follower of Christ.

Unlike this work, "The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula" Caravaggio drew for the Genoese nobleman Marcantonio Doria. Being bigger in size, the work refers to a medieval legend from the end of the third century about a saint who stopped in Cologne with his 11,000 followers. The chief of the barbarians fell in love with the pious Ursula, but the girl refused him, so the man killed her with an arrow, and her followers with a sword for refusing to move into his army.

Caravaggio painted both works in his corporate style, contrasting the light areas with a dark background to evoke a theatrical atmosphere. Nevertheless, these two later works show he reaches chiaroscuro to the fullest, positioning most of his figures in darkness. According to the text of the exhibition, his shifting style reflects the "burden of guilt and doom" of the artist, which made the scientists believe that the works depict "the intersection with his biography".

"Having escaped imprisonment in Malta and working in Sicily, he arrived in Naples hoping to obtain a pardon for the murder he committed in Rome in 1606," said Keith Christiansen, the head of European painting at the Metropolitan Museum.

"Then he was attacked and cut face, the rumors about he’s being killed spread throughout Rome. It was at that moment that he drew these two pictures."

Despite the precarious circumstances of Caravaggio, we see in these pictures his ability to transform a fraught state of mind into finely observed scenes of tremendous dramatic tension.

"The speed of a brush and minimal attention to details focus on emotional or psychological characteristics."

The style of these paintings can tell us more about the last days of the artist than it may seem. The scientist Andrew Graham-Dixon suggests that it was the knight who attacked the artist and mutilated his face in search of revenge in Naples. In addition, the art historian argues that the attack may have violated the artist's vision and manner of artistic writing, resulting in the appearance of relatively dark and truncated images found in these latest works.