Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) has been rescued from neglect to emerge as something of a cult figure, celebrated both for his boldly original art and for his short, violent and troubled life. Catherine Puglisi brings much research together to provide a comprehensive monograph on the artist's life and work. Caravaggio was the most innovative painter of his time, and one of the greatest artists of any age. Controversial in his own lifetime, and notorious for this arrogance and violent character, he lived the last four years of his life in exile after committing murder. Yet he was always protected by influential patrons who admired the bold realism and originality of his art. His sexually provocative nude figures and his dramatically composed and brilliantly lit religious paintings have a psychological power and an undiminished capacity to shock and disturb after almost four centuries. Recent archive research and historical investigations have produced much new information about Caravaggio and his milieu, while cleaning, technical investigation and new discoveries have literally shed light on the paintings. Making use of all this new material, Catherine Puglisi has produced a comprehensive monograph. All Caravaggio's works are discussed and illustrated in colour and full use is made of the latest documentation to present a portrait of the artist.
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As Catherine Puglisi points out in the most beautiful Caravaggio book ever, the soulful, tormented, ethereally talented painter has become a pop icon, with a "full-blown industry of Caravaggio publications." Puglisi's book is a standout in this crowded field. With remarkable evenhandedness, she sifted through the scholarship and discoveries--and the trash--of the past 20 years and wrote a Caravaggio book that does justice to the painter's glorious work. She doesn't skimp on the juicy parts of his life, however: she candidly but coolly recounts and appraises the bits of historical evidence for his sexuality (both hetero and homo), his use of whores and ruffians as models, and his many scrapes with the law. All the while, she focuses the reader on the paintings, aptly describing such naturalistic, groundbreaking works as The Calling of St. Matthew, of 1599.
Gazing at the large, double-page color plates in Puglisi's book, it is easy to feel the erotic pull of the many early canvasses of supple youths that have been so widely reproduced in recent years. But the later religious pictures, in which the models for the saints and Madonnas still seem almost palpable in their reality, have the most dramatic magnetism. Rest on the Flight into Egypt is particularly moving. It may never be possible to unravel the tangled web of Caravaggio's life, but Puglisi manages to restore a welcome balance to our view of his art. --Peggy MoormanAbout the Author:
Catherine Puglisi is Associate Professor of Art History at Rutgers University, New Jersey.
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Descrizione libro Phaidon Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0714834165
Descrizione libro Phaidon Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110714834165