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  • Published: 30 August 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141962948
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 544

Caravaggio

A Life Sacred and Profane




The highly-acclaimed, definitive biography of one of history's most compelling artists

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio lived the darkest and most dangerous life of any of the great painters. The worlds of Milan, Rome and Naples through which Caravaggio moved and which Andrew Graham-Dixon describes brilliantly in this book, are those of cardinals and whores, prayer and violence. On the streets surrounding the churches and palaces, brawls and swordfights were regular occurrences. In the course of this desperate life Caravaggio created the most dramatic paintings of his age, using ordinary men and women - often prostitutes and the very poor - to model for his depictions of classic religious scenes. Andrew Graham-Dixon's exceptionally illuminating readings of Caravaggio'spictures, which are the heart of the book, show very clearly how he created their drama, immediacy and humanity, and how completely he departed from the conventions of his time.

  • Published: 30 August 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141962948
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 544

About the author

Andrew Graham-Dixon

Andrew Graham-Dixon has twice won the Hawthornden Prize for writing about art and has made two six-part BBC television series, A History of British Art and Renaissance. He is now at work on a major new biography of Caravaggio.

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Praise for Caravaggio

Caravaggio has rarely been seen in such depth and such relief as in this marvellous biography. Andrew Graham-Dixon reads Caravaggio's paintings with the habits and assumptions, thoughts and fears of his contemporaries so that we see and feel the paintings more acutely and intensely than before. The man and his work emerge enriched and enlivened

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane gave me immense pleasure and provided constant delight. It is a thrilling lesson in the art of seeing, a sensual exploration of the shadows of Caravaggio's sometimes violent but always Christian world, a detective story with a highly satisfying ending. Andrew Graham-Dixon's ability to have a reader see a painting through written language is a rare and precious gift. The book's rigour and integrity are obvious. I trusted every word and was sorry to turn the final page

Peter Carey

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