Michelangelo Merisi was born in 1571 in Caravaggio, a village near Milan. Troubled and afflicted painter, he was a genius who profoundly revolutionized the history of art, introducing the study of the truth and the violent use of light as a metaphor of God’s grace. The obverse of the 2 euro coin issued on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the birth of Caravaggio shows the penitent Magdalene, taken from the homonymous work kept at the prestigious Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. Denied her previous frivolous life, the girl opens to divine grace with her hands gently laid on her lap and the jewels left on the ground next to the jar of unguent. The only ray of light that cuts across the canvas anticipates the dramatizations of the painter’s mature phase, which will influence all subsequent European painting.