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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He lives in Maryland with his wife and daughter and a very excitable dog. There are some letters reporting on his whereabouts and letters requesting the status of commissions granted to him, but never a letter from Caravaggio himself or people close to him.

Aveva dipinto per loro e dal loro punto di vista. His carnivalesque rampages — which included stabbing a critic in the back, and wounding the face of a surly waiter by hurling a plate at him — are always repressed when the season of fleshly denial begins, which makes Graham-Dixon call his art “intensely sacrde.

There’s more than a little history tucked in, too. Monday 31 December Dec 12, Greg Brozeit rated it it was amazing Shelves: He certainly makes an eloquent case for its caravagfio qualities and its enduring greatness.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane

The author sites evidence which indicates that it was actually a duel with swords involving two combatants, two seconds who sacrex involved in the fightingand four witnesses two on each side. 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.

The Calling, and The Martyrdom the third painting is The Inspiration were his first public commissions and created a sensation. Of course, Caravaggio produced paintings in all the cities ssacred visited during his flight. I’m not always persuaded by this moralising x-ray: Caravaggio had to flee and found his way to Naples, where, rather remarkably, given that he was now known to be a murderer, he was given a commission to paint The Seven Acts of Mercy for the Pio Monte, a group of rich aristocrats who had dedicated themselves to the care of the poor and the sick.


Aspiring to profanr sacred, at worst merely profane? I can’t wait to rediscover Caravaggio’s art again after reading this book.

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

Bones in the grave contained high lead levels which is probably related to the paints used at the time which contained high amounts of lead salts. Was he even a homosexual? Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 29 September —18 July lived probably the darkest and most dangerous life of any of the great painters. If so it helps to explain why he repeatedly is apprehended in the middle of the night prowling the streets curfew violation and armed with sword and dagger unlawful without a license.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon

I had always learned more about the profane interpretations of Caravaggio’s art, but this was the first time that I learned about the strict religious rule of Borromeo that he lived under as a child, a religious framework that would be present in every aspect of his work from the dirty feet of the saints in the paintings to the sculpture like positions that those represented in his paintings took.

I already know that I will come back to it again and again in anticipation of A spectacular biography in every way imaginable. I believe these descriptions would be constructive reading for anyone who anticipates visiting a museum where the paintings are on display.


With a price on his head, he hustles to Malta, where he becomes one of the favored Knights of Malta and tries to sweet talk his way into forgiveness by producing portraits of some of the leading members of the court. The man died at age 38 after being attacked by one group of his many enemies. Show 25 25 50 All.

He was imprisoned in Malta for rowdy behavior and made a miraculous escape, the details of which are unknown. Graham-Dixon explains each of his major paintings in depth about his technique as well as who hired him and how he prkfane on the painting. Caravaggio was more comfortable on the seamy side of the street, for this was his milieu.

The resulting picture, his second version of St Matthew and the Angel, was accepted without demur. The chiaroscuro is eerily extreme: At this point, Graham-Dixon addresses revisionist attempts on Caravaggio’s sexuality. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

A great companion book for a trip to Rome. Fortunately, he had generous patrons and protectors who wanted to keep him free and busy with art commissions.

Caravaggio had some additional paintings rejected because of their realism.