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Polidoro was born in 1492 at Caravaggio in the Milanese. He came from a very poor family, and spent his youth in misery and want. He left home in search of work, and found employment in Rome fetching and carrying for the Vatican artists. He felt inspired by what he saw to try his own hand at art, and eventually became one of Raphael's most illustrious disciples. His skill and reputation grew, but in 1527, when Rome was sacked by the Spaniards, he fled to Naples where he soon found work and opened a school. He later moved to Sicily where he continued to design frescoes and friezes and where he painted the famous "Christ bearing the Cross". He was keen to return to Rome, which was tranquil again after the Spanish attack, but he met a terrible end when his servant, Tonno, murdered him for the money Polidoro had withdrawn from his bank prior to leaving Sicily.