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Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profaneby Andrew Graham-dixon
Synopses & Reviews
For four hundred years Caravaggio's (1571-1610) staggering artistic achievements have thrilled viewers, yet his volatile personal trajectory-the murder of Ranuccio Tomasini, the doubt surrounding Caravaggio's sexuality, the chain of events that began with his imprisonment on Malta and ended with his premature death-has long confounded historians. In a bravura performance, Andrew Graham-Dixon delves into the original Italian sources, presenting fresh details about Caravaggio's sex life, his many crimes and public brawls, and the most convincing account yet published of the painter's tragic death at the age of thirty-eight. With illuminating readings of Caravaggio's infamous religious paintings, which often depict prostitutes and poor people, Graham-Dixon immerses readers in the world of Italy at the height of the Counter-Reformation and creates a masterful profile of the mercurial painter's life and work.
Book News Annotation:
Painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was a brilliant artist whose violent impulses left him a fugitive and whose flaunting of artistic conventions made him a controversial figure in the art world of the late Italian Renaissance. This illustrated biography portrays Caravaggio's world of churches, royal palaces, bars, and whorehouses of the great cities of Italy. Based on recently discovered archival documents, this biography is of special interest because it gives details on the least documented period of Caravaggio's life, the first 21 years, which yield important clues to his turbulent personality. The book closes with observations on modern artists and filmmakers influenced by Caravaggio. The book includes a total of 88 illustrations, divided into five sections of color paintings and b&w drawings. There are also maps of Italian cities during the period. Graham-Dixon has written other books on art history Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This commanding new biography of Caravaggio illuminates the man who lived the darkest and most dangerous life of any of the great painters.
In the tradition of John Richardson's Picasso, a commanding new biography of the Italian master's tumultuous life and mysterious death.
Drawing on fresh and important documentary material and on his own extensive experience as an art critic, popular BBC host Andrew Graham-Dixon has produced a rich portrait of Caravaggio"s life that Booker Prize-winning author Peter Carey has called, 'A thrilling lesson in the art of seeing. I . . . was sorry to turn the final page.'
For the first time, Graham-Dixon brings to light new details about Caravaggio"s sexuality, the circumstances that led him to murder Ranuccio Tomassoni, the events surrounding his imprisonment on the island of Malta, and the most convincing solution yet published to the riddle of how he met his death. Graham-Dixon"s work reads with the drama and pace of a detective novel, ensuring that both longtime Carvaggio enthusiasts and casual admirers will be drawn to this riveting account of a fascinating life.
About the Author
Andrew Graham-Dixon has presented six landmark series on art for the BBC, including the acclaimed A History of British Art, Renaissance and Art of Eternity, as well as numerous individual documentaries on art and artists. For more than twenty years he has published a weekly column on art, first in the Independent and, more recently, in the Sunday Telegraph. He has written a number of acclaimed books, on subjects ranging from medieval painting and sculpture to the art of the present, including Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, Art: The Definitive Visual Guide, and Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel.
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