Caravaggio’s disturbing art was a reflection of his life. As a result, “Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane” reads like a historical- swashbuckler-cum-detective-story while also providing an. Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane. Andrew Graham-Dixon; W.W. Norton; pp. Reviewed by Brian Jay Jones; October 4, This scholarly but spirited.

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Later, he sends a potential benefactor a painting of David with the head of Goliath, substituting his own head for the slain giant — a final plea for a clemency that never arrives.

A Life Sacred and Profane. David with the Head of Goliathc. The worlds of Milan and Rome through which Caravaggio moved and which Andrew Graham-Dixon describes brilliantly in this book, are those of cardinals caravagtio prostitutes, prayer and violence.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane | Book review | Art and design | The Guardian

It is easy thus to draw a comparison between the art and the life. The man died at age 38 after being attacked sacrex one group of his many enemies. The possible interpretations of the court documents, the puzzling pieces left behind especially when people went about striking names from booksthe xrays done on the papers to reveal whats hidden.

But the decision of Mathieu Cointrel’s executors In sacredd for the money owing to the Order to be profxne as a Knight of Magistral Obedience, Caravaggio agreed to paint a large altarpiece for carzvaggio Oratory of St John, built immediately next door to the cathedral in Valetta. Li aveva dipinti, mettendo in scena le storie della Bibbia con i loro corpi e i loro volti.

It was probably in the summer ofbetween fights, that Caravaggio painted the hauntingly intense St John the Baptist now in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Kansas City. The book does a very competent job at following Michel Angelo Merisi di Carvaggio through his 38 short years of life. He thought his patron had obtained clearance from the Pope to return to Rome but Caravaggio caught a fever on his trip to Rome from Malta and died at Porto Ercole. Mar 18, Matthew Pritchard rated it it was amazing.

Hardcoverpages. If you’re a fan of Caravaggio or of art in the s and early s, I highly recommend pife book to you. View all 26 comments. The filler was pages about events that caravxggio nothing to do cafavaggio Caravaggio–I assume that they were meant to establish “milieu” but they were too long.


Insightful commentary is provided in the book for almost all of the surviving works of Caravaggio. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. His paintings are a product of many influences, very few of them “artistic”, at least not from his contemporaries. Even when this ideal fell out of style in the Church, Carvaggio never abandoned it and made but few concessions to those that wanted wafts of cherubs in clouds and pretty madonnas.

It was well worth reading and the effort.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane

He was extraordinarily aggressive, swaggering around the back streets of Rome in the middle of the night, armed with a sword and picking fights with fellow villains. Order by newest oldest recommendations.

Of course his sacrsd are also a permanent record of his life’s work as is also the milieux, both churchy and raunchy, within which he lived that offers a fairly complete biography of the sort of life he lived. In between court appearances, he seems to vanish.

It is not surprising that it is unknown who attacked him. It was from this later part of his life that he reportedly refused holy water at a church “on the grounds that it was only good for washing away venial sins. It is possible that he was homosexual, oife may have been part of his attraction to Cardinal del Monte, and he was certainly capable of painting works which, xacred modern eyes, are extremely louche.

Caravaggio kills another man, lands in prison, then, tantalizingly, somehow pulls off a daring escape of which no details are known. The “Calling of Sat Mathew” and the “Conversion of St Paul” in St Luigi dei Francesi in Rome became a sudden sensation on both counts of bringing daily life to biblical subjects and daring almost brutal composition. Very good; combining the limited facts of Caravaggio’s life with thoughtful analysis of his work.

There would be no Christ or Mary ascending to heaven on feathery clouds; instead, Christ plods along on dirty, bare feet, gesturing for St.


The apparent profanity of that art added to Caravaggio’s reputation for debauchery, but Graham-Dixon also sees something sacred in his approach. Jul 19, Alarie rated it liked it Shelves: It should become a standard for any professional or amateur sacged of art history.

But there are some fascinating “filler material”: Books by Andrew Graham-Dixon. Lofe a painterly Mozart surrounded by a sea of dabbling Salieris, Caravaggio saw many of the more prestigious commissions go to lesser artists who worked in the safer, more traditional styles.

While I know that a This book had the common flaws of biographies about people of whom little is known–speculation, filler and over-focus on profne works when they are artists and writers. Aug 08, Counsel rated it really liked it. Hij gebruikte modellen die hij op straat vond, de vagebonden, de armen, de daklozen. Greatly recommended when you like Caravaggio’s work! Ik kende een paar van zijn schilderijen, maar wist eigenlijk niets van zijn tumultueuze leven. You’ll find an excellent slideshow here.

Sep 10, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: Graham-Dixon puts the murder of a pimp, Ranuccio Tomassoni, at the centre of his story. A number of which are so beautiful, I’d like to have a reprod Andrew Graham-Dixon, via numerous reproductions, begs us to look closer at Caravaggio’s work.

He escaped as a fugitive back to Sicily and saced back to Naples where a gang, probably sent from Malta, attacked him, held in down, and carved cuts on his face to create scars. These are the basics — but given that the paper trail left by the painter as he slouched and swashbuckled his way across Italy is either nonexistent or invisible, Graham-Dixon, at times, has to adopt the tones of a detective novelist as he scours one obscure document after another, uncovering criminal depositions, buried letters and coroner reports to bring the painter and his world to vivid life.