Book summary: A powerful and illuminating biography-the first in English in two generations-of one of the most popular painters of all time.
Of all the great Italian painters, the seventeenth-century master Caravaggio speaks most clearly and powerfully to our time. His early paintings of cardsharps, musicians, and street vendors convey his fascination with the Roman demimonde; his stark and brilliant religious paintings convey the world of the poor and the outcast and the religious experience of the individual with a directness our age can recognize.
Caravaggio lived hard and died young, having fled Rome for Sicily, apparently after murdering another man in a dispute; his life is one of the most colorful of any artist's. In this vivid and beautifully written biography, Helen Langdon tells the story of the great painter's life and times in a way that leaves the reader with a renewed appreciation of his art.
Caravaggio painted a fairly small number of works, many of them for settings in Rome, Naples, and Sicily, where they remain today; and he painted directly from human models. So the story of his life and times reveals Italian society of the period-involving powerful patrons, sybaritic cardinals, and saints, as well as street boys, prostitutes, and rivalrous painters.
Langdon has spent a lifetime studying Caravaggio; this biography, the first in English in two generations, shows us Caravaggio's genius with the striking clarity of his own paintings.