Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, By Andrew Graham-Dixon
A portrait of the artist as a young villain
Sunday 31 July 2011
Caravaggio was the master of the down-at-heel street scene.
Lurking in the corners of his astonishingly realistic paintings are card-sharks, thugs, prostitutes. As this biography makes clear, the reason he was able to depict the criminal world with such conviction was because he knew it intimately: one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance was also a killer (and, the author surmises, a pimp) who spent much of his career on the run from his enemies.
Andrew Graham-Dixon gives us compelling interpretations of the paintings, but it's chiefly for his pacy account of Caravaggio's brief and violent life that this superb book is worth reading. Martin Scorsese could do worse than to option the film rights.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain