Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: The Enigmatic Caravaggio

I have just finished reading Matt Rees' "A Name In Blood" - a historical novel on the life of Caravaggio - I would hesitate to call it a biography though it certainly is a retelling of his life.

Alessio Boni as Caravaggio 
Most people with an interest in renaissance art and artists would be familiar with this notorious and yet enigmatic artist, his famous works, and his untimely and mysterious death. Just recently I had watched a two part series on Caravaggio starring Alessio Boni on SBS - and this is what drew me to Rees' book - I was searching for answers as to how this man met his ultimate demise, and Rees certainly puts forward a plausible theory.

From the Web Museum:
"Caravaggio was born Michelangelo Merisi on Sept. 28, 1573, in Caravaggio, Italy. Orphaned at age 11, he was apprenticed to the painter Simone Peterzano of Milan for four years. At some time between 1588 and 1592, Caravaggio went to Rome and worked as an assistant to painters of lesser skill. About 1595 he began to sell his paintings through a dealer. The dealer brought Caravaggio to the attention of Cardinal Francesco del Monte.

Early in 1608 Caravaggio went to Malta and was received as a celebrated artist. Fearful of pursuit, he continued to flee for two more years, but his paintings of this time were among the greatest of his career. After receiving a pardon from the pope, he was wrongfully arrested and imprisoned for two days. A boat that was to take him to Rome left without him, taking his belongings. Misfortune, exhaustion, and illness overtook him as he helplessly watched the boat depart. He collapsed on the beach and died a few days later on July 18, 1610."

Caravggio - A Life:
Caravaggio - wikipedia
Caravaggio - Biography dot com
Caravaggio - from Caravaggio dot com

Books on Caravaggio:
Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon
Caravaggio: The Complete Works by Rossella Vodret
Caravaggio And His Legacy by J. Patrice Marandel
Discovering Caravaggio: The Art Lover's Guide … by Stefano Zuffi 
M : The Man Who Became Caravaggio by Peter Robb 
Caravaggio: A Life by Helen Langdon 
Caravaggio by John T. Spike 
Caravaggio: A Novel by Christopher Peachment 
Caravaggio: A Passionate Life Hardcover by Desmond Seward 
Caravaggio by Catherine Puglisi 
Caravaggio: The Artist and His Work by Sybille Ebert-Schifferer 

The Art of Caravaggio:
Caravaggio - at Art dot com 
Caravaggio - The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Caravaggio on the Screen: 
Caravaggio on SBS (2008) 
Caravaggio - YouTube 

Caravaggio in the News: 
Derek Jarman's Caravaggio - Press Release

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