Caravaggio by Desmond Seward
A Passionate Life

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Synopsis

Michael Angelo da Caravaggio (1571-1610) had an amazingly colorful and adventurous career, full of dramatic contrasts. He was a religious artist who used prostitutes and castrati as his models; a mystic with a police record; the favorite of Cardinals and the Pope's portrait painter, who committed a murder; an outlaw from the Roman hills, lionized at Naples; a Knight of Malta imprisoned in a Maltese dungeon; hunted by hired assassins in a vendetta with an unknown enemy; horribly disfigured by sword cuts in a Neapolitan brothel. Ironically, he died on a lonely Tuscan beach after receiving a pardon that would have allowed him to become an even greater painter.

Based on the latest research, but largely written as an adventure story, the book concentrates on the man and his personality, without neglecting the artist. It vividly re-creates his life in early Baroque Italy and as a "monk of war" on Malta.

 

About Desmond Seward

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Desmond Seward, a well-known historian in both America and Britain, is author of The Monks of War (new edition 1995), the first general history of the military religious orders since the eighteenth century. He lives in Brighton, England.
 
Published June 20, 2013 by Thistle Publishing. 217 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Caravaggio

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Seward, a renowned British historian (The Wars of the Roses, 1995, etc.), sets out to reassemble the shadowy life of the 17th-century Italian chiaroscuro master Michelangelo de Caravaggio.

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Publishers Weekly

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Seward's passionately partisan life of the painter Michel Angelo da Caravaggio presents the master of chiaroscuro as a figure maligned by art historians and laymen (such as the late Derek Jarman), who

Nov 02 1998 | Read Full Review of Caravaggio: A Passionate Life

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At once more scholarly and less polemical than Desmond Seward's 1998 Caravaggio: A Passionate Life, Langdon's study of the Renaissance painter conveys a picture of Michelangelo da Caravaggio (1573-1610) as an artist amid rivals and intrigues without losing sight of his work and its significance.

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Seward's passionately partisan life of the painter Michel Angelo da Caravaggio presents the master of chiaroscuro as a figure maligned by art historians and laymen (such as the late Derek Jarman), who have, Seward claims, mistakenly held him up as a darkly glamorous, homosexual and antisocial icon.

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