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.

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He managed to get himself to Malta, where, once again, he was immediately taken up by the church authorities and given a major commission to paint Alof de Wignacourt, the Grand Master of the Order. The picture might almost be a portrait of Caravaggio’s own dark state of mind, his gloomy hostility and growing sense of isolation during this period of his life. As far as they were concerned, it was merely his taste, and the tenor of his piety, that was suspect: A Life Sacred and Profane is essential reading for anyone interested in this mercurial late 16th, early 17th century Italian artist, whose brilliant, often caravagyio work challenged the sacerd of the Mannerist style that preceded him and opened up the path of gritty realism for artists in the centuries that followed.

He was in tune with the Counter Reformspecially the brand promoted by Carlo Borromeo, bishop of Milan, with its emphasis on the plight of the poor and the common people. Perhaps Ottavio Costa was so impressed by the work when he saw it that he decided to keep it for his art collection in Rome.

Apr 29, Lauren Albert rated it liked it Shelves: The book is well written and keeps one interested throughout the book. The author also mentions the impact the Sacro Liff di Varallo might have had in his formative years. Some years after his death, an exhibition in Rome of his work drew crowds of over half a million.

There are some letters reporting on his whereabouts and letters requesting the status of commissions granted to him, but never a letter from Caravaggio himself or people close to him. Mar 18, Matthew Pritchard rated it it was amazing.

More from caravaggil web. His last years in Malta, Prorane and his death in Porto Ercole should be made into a movie.

It’s hard to imagine how Caravaggio could have been so prolific while continually getting in trouble with the law.


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

Caravaggio kills another man, lands in prison, then, tantalizingly, somehow pulls off a daring escape of which no details are known. While the book does have copies of many of the paintings discussed it is perhaps advisable to go online and have ready access to the paintings discussed so you get full value out of the points the author is attempting to make. While much of his brief time on earth was mired in the darkness that pervades almost all his painting, he is here portrayed as sincere in the spiritual aspiration characterized by the sharply contrasting light.

He fled to Sicily, where he was looked after by Mario Minniti, a fellow painter, and, once again, given major commissions for altarpieces. Too often trite jokes are carzvaggio about the value of art history.

I am not convinced that the documentation supports this, but, in every other way, the fact that Caravaggio was endlessly in trouble with the courts means that Graham-Dixon is able to provide a detailed picture of what his life was like, based on court evidence.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane

A Life Sacred and Profane, Art: His only still life, a basket of fruit, basically contains every element of genius that would launch his career. A few days after Caravaggio was born, the navies of the Catholic Holy League and the Turkish Ottoman Empire fought at the Battle of Lepanto, where victory meant control over all of the Mediterranean.

Graham-Dixon’s work will eliminate any notion of frivolity about the study of art history. I especially liked learning about the crack troops of 16th- 17th century Christendom, the hard core Order of St.

The buzz generated from these slice-of-life paintings led to commissions for chamber pieces and, eventually, altarpieces and other religious paintings — a genre at which the swaggering, profane Caravaggio would excel. This sometimes feels like filler material, or even feels like the author is demonstrating his already obvious outstanding research.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. He was extraordinarily aggressive, swaggering around the back streets of Rome in the middle of the night, armed with a sword and picking fights with fellow villains.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon

This is a anf book pages including Szcred, Further Reading, and Index that thoroughly covers the subject. The somewhat plodding early chapters about church reform and law made way for a wild action story.


A real prostitute poses for a dying Virgin Mary as balding disciples sob around her. You could say he was always ‘cruising for a bruising’. I know it’s a cliche, but facts about this artist’s life are so few and far between he is very much like caravgagio own paintings: Jul 15, Kirsten rated it really liked it Shelves: Graham-Dixon not only covers the life of Caravaggio but also provides the history of the catholic church and Italy during the life of the painter.

Books by Andrew Graham-Dixon. Graham-Dixion tells the story through Caravaggio’s remarkable paintings–a valiant effort but much of Caravaggio’s life seemingly will forever remain a mystery. His paintings are a product of many influences, very few of them “artistic”, at least not from his contemporaries.

Giustiniani also prevailed on the congregation of San Luigi dei Francesi to allow the painter to try again. Show 25 25 50 All. Cxravaggio archaeological find in Tuscany came too late to be of use to Andrew Graham-Dixon, but he too has been battling for a decade to assemble the fragments of Caravaggio’s obscure, mysterious life into a biography.

He apparently had no problems obtaining commissions but he had a violent temper and was frequently anx brawls and in jail. The buzz generated from these slice-of-life paintings led to commissions for chamber pieces and, eventually, altarpieces and other religious paintings — a genre at which the swaggering, profane Caravaggio would excel.

This is a remarkable book. Graham-Dixon puts the murder of a pimp, Ranuccio Tomassoni, at the centre of his story.

Ondertussen liep de meeste gestoorde grootmeester van de Italiaanse kunst er in carzvaggio dagelijks leven meer dan de kantjes af.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane | Washington Independent Review of Books

His early career was influenced by the resurgent Counter Reformation Catholic church that sought a style of art to counter the threat of Protestantism. The St Matthew was rejected as soon as it was delivered. Brian Jay Jones is the author of the award-winning biography Washington Irving: I was interested to learn that Orazio Gentileschi was an acquaintance of Caravaggio’s.

Depictions of Milan, Rome, and Sicily are provided by contemporary travelers.