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.

Author: Brabar Nagore
Country: Antigua & Barbuda
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Relationship
Published (Last): 1 October 2006
Pages: 63
PDF File Size: 9.13 Mb
ePub File Size: 4.48 Mb
ISBN: 871-7-47577-960-7
Downloads: 48727
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Fezilkree

As far as they were concerned, it was merely his taste, and the tenor of his piety, that was suspect: This second St John is moodily withdrawn, lost in his own world-despising thoughts. Was all his work influenced by his homosexuality? I know it’s a cliche, but facts about this artist’s life are so few and far between he is very much like his own paintings: A spectacular biography in every way imaginable.

Biography books Art and design books reviews. His work was immediately seen to be totally different in character from the much more high-flown and classical inventions of the Carracciwho were the leading artists of the day. Punky guy as he might have been, he was the best painter of the post-Renaissance and people stood in awe looking at his work.

Hij was opvliegend en agressief, ging voor de minste belediging op de vuist en pleegde zelfs een moord, waardoor hij Rome moest ontvluchten.

Perhaps he is offended by the spectacle of Nigel Terry’s grungily dressed Caravaggio, who talks in London street slang, hangs out in blearily lit bars, and enviably commutes between the beds of Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean.

The only written records available are court records, relating to his almost weekly arrests for insult and violent behaviour. A fine illustration of what art history is supposed to be – a lovely, well-written study of Caravaggio’s life at the macro and micro levels. Sep 10, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: Flashes of light penetrate the scenes, biblical or saintlybut mostly scenes that could have sacrex plucked out of the strife filled streets of Rome in some cases.

Perhaps the Grand Master thought that it was better to be rid of him, rather than have to prosecute him and keep him on the island. But he projects into them a great deal more religious fervor and significance that I think is warranted.

Caravaggio | W. W. Norton & Company

The author, who seems quite sure of himself, provides the name of the person who had Caravaggio tracked profanf. He sometimes takes an entire chapter to describe a single painting.

He seeks to bring Caravaggio’s misbehaviour under the aegis of the church calendar by arguing that he lived as if it was always either carnival profame Lent. Interestingly enough, a few were rejected because Maria or the saints were painted with dirty naked feet. He died, still not yet forty and sarced on the lam, in a last attempt to secure a pardon and return to Rome. I also appreciated Graham-Dixon’s epilogue, where he discussed not only what happened to the other painters that had featured in Caravaggio’s escapades, but also what happened to Fillide, the prostitute that was the Virgin Mary on more than one occasion.


He apparently had no problems obtaining commissions but he had a violent temper and was frequently in brawls and in jail. There would be no Christ or Mary ascending to heaven on feathery clouds; wnd, Christ plods along on dirty, bare feet, gesturing for St. Graham-Dixon attributes this possibility to Franciscan leanings and criticism of greed. A number of which are so beautiful, I’d like to have a reprod Andrew Graham-Dixon, via numerous reproductions, begs us carqvaggio look closer at Caravaggio’s work.

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. There are some letters reporting on his whereabouts and carwvaggio requesting the status of commissions granted to him, but never a letter from Caravaggio himself or people close to him.

Caravaggio: a Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon: review

Very good; combining the limited facts of Caravaggio’s life with thoughtful analysis of his work. Hij gebruikte modellen die hij o Graham-Dixon beschrijft in deze verbluffende en diepgaande biografie van de Italiaanse schilder Caravaggio het veelbewogen leven van deze uitzonderlijke kunstenaar, die zichzelf heeft leren schilderen en misschien wel juist daardoor de schilderkunst heeft heruitgevonden.

He made a speciality of what Graham-Dixon calls “tenebrism”, and fully nine-tenths of his Resurrection of Lazarus is as black as pitch or perdition.

His early career was influenced by the resurgent Counter Reformation Catholic church that sought a style of art to counter the threat of Protestantism. A Life Sacred and Profane. I had always learned more about the profane interpretations of Caravaggio’s art, but this was the I love art history because it seems very interactive to me.


Show 25 25 50 All. Was he even a homosexual? 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.

And in each, Caravaggio lights his figures dramatically against nearly pitch black backgrounds, almost literally highlighting the moment and forcing the viewer to pause and reflect — and, perhaps, move them to penance, as Borromeo might have hoped of viewers of the sacro monte.


Depictions of Milan, Rome, and Sicily are provided by contemporary travelers. Seething, Caravaggio eventually ends up taking part in a duel in which a hotheaded pimp named Ranuccio Tomassoni is critically wounded — and Aa has uncovered new evidence which he believes suggests a far more salacious motivation for the fight, which prior biographers have attributed to a spontaneous dust-up over a tennis match. A fascinating look at a gifted but flawed genius.

He spent much of his time evading the law; it’s lucky for Graham-Dixon that he was frequently arrested and put on trial for petty brawls, since most of the documentary evidence about him comes from criminal archives. Moreover, the artists that mocked him set to frantically try to imitate his style in droves. I wanted to see some of his painting and I found the Caravaggio foundation has them available on the web.

Apr 29, Lauren Albert rated it liked it Shelves: Graham-Dixion tells the story through Caravaggio’s remarkable paintings–a valiant effort but much of Caravaggio’s life seemingly sacfed forever remain a mystery.

The book is well written and keeps one interested throughout the book. Bellori gave the fullest account of events: His death was caused in part as a result of wounds received in a revenge attack by unknown assailants.

Li aveva dipinti, mettendo in scena le storie della Bibbia con i loro corpi e i loro volti. The shifty but almost conclusive fact that Caravaggio might have been a pimp and was most likely sexually attracted to adolescent boys explains why some of the models used for his cupids and lide his saintly women were indeed prostitutes and catamites.

He created the style of shadows that make his pictures unique. Borromeo believed in a Christ incarnate, insisting that his subjects visualize a living, breathing Christ in the hope that doing so would make his suffering and sacrifices that much more graphic and glorious.

Tangents about Cardinals, neighboring countries, and politics of the time went on too long for my taste. 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 sared 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.