Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles (Eminent Lives)

Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles (Eminent Lives)

Francine Prose

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 0060575603

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles (Eminent Lives)

Francine Prose

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 0060575603

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Matching gorgeous prose to gorgeous artworks, Prose responds to each image as a moment of theatrical revelation, sensual or spiritual, and frequently both.” — Boston Sunday Globe

In Caravaggio, New York Times bestselling author Francine Prose (Goldengrove, Reading like a Writer) offers an enthralling account of the life and work of one of the greatest painters of all time. —“Called “racy, intensely imagined, and highly readable” by the New York Times Book Review, Caravaggio includes eight pages of color illustrations, and is sure to appeal to art enthusiasts interested in one of history’s true innovators. Caravaggio is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins’ “Eminent Lives” series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures.

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contradiction. Nor would it have seemed perplexing that a confirmed sodomite was also an aggressive brawler, a street tough, and a murderer. Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, by the time Caravaggio came to Rome, he was already near or past the upper limit at which he might have been considered a desirable or even permissible object for the sexual attentions of an older, more powerful man. And so, though it is sometimes implied that Cardinal Del Monte’s interest in Caravaggio and his

court to ball court, armed, accompanied by a servant, and looking for a fight. When van Mander published this observation in 1604, Caravaggio’s reputation had spread as far as the Netherlands, and the Dutch biographer was writing him without ever having seen his paintings. Around the same time that Caravaggio’s popularity—and the prices he was able to command for his work—were increasing in proportion to the ingeniousness and the power of his art, his name was beginning to turn up in the Roman

his losses, retrenches, and begins again. Contemplating the first and second versions of The Conversion of Saint Paul, we’re tempted to conclude that nothing short of a revelation could have directed the leap from one to the other. We feel that there must have been a moment of illumination not unlike Saint Paul’s: a flash of insight lighting up the mystery of the difference between stasis and stillness. Instinctively, Caravaggio understood that the key was to stop struggling against the

show some dirty whore from the Ortaccio”—that is, the prostitute’s quarter near the Mausoleum of Augustus—“which is what Caravaggio did in The Death of the Virgin for the Madonna della Scala, which is why the good fathers didn’t want it, and perhaps why the poor fellow [Caravaggio] suffered such torment in his life.” “Some dirty whore from the Ortaccio.” The sweetness and grace of the beautiful young Madonna would alone be enough make us want to weep for her, and for ourselves, and for

not to believe) that Michelangelo Buonarroti once nailed a man to a board and pierced him with a lance in order to paint a more persuasive Crucifixion. But another of Susinno’s anecdotes seems more plausible and faithful to what we know about Caravaggio’s personality. The work-in-progress remained hidden until it was finished. Finally The Resurrection of Lazarus was unveiled, and the citizens of Messina—proud of their cultural sophistication and confident in their ability to discuss art

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