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Caravaggio: A Passionate Life (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Desmond Seward

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

The greatest painter of the Italian Baroque, Caravaggio was also a quicktempered, murderous swordsman. Few artists have had a police record like his. When painting, however, he became a mystic. The models for his Virgins and his saints were prostitutes, but his pictures are deeply spiritual.

At the height of his fame, just after painting the Pope's portrait, Caravaggio killed a man in a duel and had to hide for his life in the wild hills outside Rome. Outlawed, he became a Knight of Malta but, for half-killing a fellow knight in another duel, was thrown into a dungeon from which he escaped, leaping over the prison walls with a rope. After fleeing along the coast of Sicily on small boats, pursued by a nameless enemy, he was caught in a Neapolitan brothel by his enemy's assassins and left for dead, so disfigured by sword cuts that he was unrecognisable. Trying to return to Rome, he was shipwrecked, mistaken for a notorious bandit and arrested, before dying on a Tuscan beach in mysterious circumstances when he was still only thirty-eight. All this time he had been painting furiously, in cellars by lamp light, pictures that are masterpieces. Some must still await rediscovery.

Was Caravaggio a homosexual, whose religious scenes are secretly suffused with homoeroticism? What were the causes of his self-destructive binges and endless brawling? Did the Knights of Malta murder him? Just where did he die and where was he buried? Making use of very recent discoveries in Italy and elsewhere, Desmond Seward answers these questions.

His book is at the same time a gripping adventure story and a study of a moody, violent genius, playing dramatically on the contrast between wonderfully creative art and a vicious private life. It uses both the pictures and contemporary crime reports to peer into Caravaggio’s mind.

"Seward does a fine job of piercing together circumstantial evidence of the painter's turbulent life, while skilful juxtaposition of Caravaggio's personal narrative and art illuminates the origin of his dramatic style."
Kirkus Review

"Seward does a good job of bringing together recent scholarship and background material on Caravaggio's milieu."
Michael Ybarra, Boston Book Review

"Seward ... seeks to clarify the facts and establish a context for the shaping of Caravaggio's notoriously tormented sensibility. He spares no gruesome details in his staggering descriptions of the plague years, during which young Caravaggio lost most of his family, or of the treacherous streets of Rome where nightly knifings and daily public executions made for a macabre world ... Seward's emphasis on Caravaggio's religious convictions goes much further in explicating the power of his art and the nature of his soul than speculation about his sexuality."
Donna Seaman, Booklist

"he has written a well researched biography of Caravaggio which, in his own words, "Uses the pictures to peer into his mind." Aimed at the general reader, rather than the specialist, it certainly succeeds ... In many ways his treatment is reminiscent, as he admits, of Peter Schaffer's treatment of Mozart in 'Amadeus'."
Donald Lee, The Art Newspaper

"Seward's scholarship is pointed, unpretentious, often amusing ... He does his "modest best" to get inside Caravaggio's head through the use of original sources and an adventurous exploration of the world that Caravaggio inhabited ... Caravaggio is a lively read, and a rewarding one. Seward's "modest best" is very good indeed."
Lynn Roberson, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Biographie de l'auteur

Desmond Seward was born in Paris and educated at Ampleforth and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He is the author of many books including The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders, The Hundred Years War, The Wars of the Roses, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry V as Warlord, Josephus, Masada and the Fall of Judaea (da Capo, US, April 2009), Wings over the Desert: in action with an RFC pilot in Palestine 1916-18 (Haynes Military, July 2009) and Old Puglia: A Portrait of South Eastern Italy (Haus August 2009).

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1672 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 217 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1909609072
  • Editeur : Thistle Publishing (20 juin 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00DJ1IF2M
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°394.160 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  14 commentaires
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A compelling and colorful look at Caravaggio's life 19 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
As a longtime fan of Caravaggio's works, I found Desmond Seward's biography to be fascinating and informative. Seward fills his book with wonderful details that help flesh out the social milieu of the artist's lifetime, a picture of a world as violent and yet fervently religious as Caravaggio himself. The writing is crisp and colorful, never failing to evoke the various settings in which Caravaggio lived. I thought perhaps Seward was a bit too fastidious about the possibility of Caravaggio's homosexual side, but on the other hand I appreciate the way Seward rescues Caravaggio from the PC types who would try to claim Caravaggio as a gay icon when he was certainly not exclusively so; nor did the artist live in an era when such personality distinctions were made. I also like the emphasis Seward placed on Caravaggio's faith and his struggles with his temperamental personality, giving us a more rounded picture of a man with many contradictory elements in his character.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting Account of Caravaggio and his works 25 novembre 1999
Par Aussie Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Firstly an admission, I had no prior knowledge of Caravaggio or his paintings. My main area of interest is military history but after seeing the beautiful cover on this book I picked it up and browsed through the wonderful colour plates. I had to have the book to read and after ordering it from Amazon.com and sat and waited. It was worth the wait! I enjoyed the story of this most interesting man, yes its a bit short (200 odd pages) but to a person like me who had no prior knowledge or interest in this subject it filled a gap in my education. This was an interesting book to read and I just loved the colour plates of the artists work (16 colour pictures). The book has sparked an interest to learn more of this man, his times and his art. For that alone the book was worth it and the author has done his job. I would recommend this book for those who want to learn a little bit more about this man and his art.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Caravaggio is Caravaggio 14 octobre 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Any biography of Caravaggio is bound to be immensely interesting because he was far from ordinary, someone who will never fail to shock and amuse modern readers. While several reviews I have read complain about the brevity of the book, I found its length appropriate-it did the artist justice without bogging the reader down with too much analysis and irrelevant details. It assumes some familiarity with Italy and European history, but it has several chapters devoted solely to discussing the time period, while always making a connection to Caravaggio's life. I found it particularly nice that nearly all of Caravaggio's paintings were discussed and analyzed within the biography. The book has several copies of paintings inserted in its middle, but lacks the majority. Therefore, I found it incredibly helpful to have my Caravaggio anthology nearby so that I could follow the author's discussions. Undoubtedly, anyone that is not a Caravaggio fan would find these sections tremendously boring, but I loved the opportunity to pore over his paintings with a new understanding of their significance and context.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 you'll love it. 18 mars 2000
Par Jiaxing Rong - Publié sur Amazon.com
This may be the best of the new Caravaggio books. As a painter and a student of art history, I found this book by Seward to be absolutely absorbing. Seward not only gives insight about Caravaggio's life, but also delves into the events that may have inspired his paintings. Please read this exciting book!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Brillant Concise Biography 2 octobre 2004
Par Jeffrey Morseburg - Publié sur Amazon.com
It is no secret among my friends that Michelangelo Merisi da Carvaggio is among my favorite painters. Because Caravaggio's paintings have a narrative quality, an almost universal appeal and real drama, they have long spoken to me. When the National Gallery of Ireland loaned its newly discovered Caravaggio - one of the best and notably, one that hasn't suffered at the hands of overzealous restorers of past centuries - to our own National Gallery of Art, I flew to Washington to see it. Even hanging in the gallery of Baroque masterpieces, it stood out as a sublime work of art. Like his paintings, Caravaggio's life was a study in contrasts. While he painted soaring religious masterpieces, he lived his life in the gutter, fighting, killing, gambling and whoring. So, enjoying his work as much as I do, it is with pleasure that I share a elegantly crafted, well-written little monograph titled "Caravaggio: A Passionate Life." The author, Desmond Seward, is not an art historian but a historian of the Middle Ages and because of the number of art historians with an agenda; this is almost certainly a good thing...instead of being filled with jargon or far fetched theories, he has provided readers with a consise, well-written monograph on a epoch creating artist!
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