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The Man Who Became Caravaggio

Peter Robb


M Download image

ISBN10: 0312274742
ISBN13: 9780312274740

Trade Paperback

592 Pages



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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

As Peter Robb vividly and unflinchingly presents here, with "blood and bone and sinew" (Times Literary Supplement), Caravaggio's wild and tempestuous life was a provocation to a culture in a state of siege. The end of the sixteenth century was marked by the Inquisition and Counter-Reformation, a background of ideological war against which, despite all odds, brilliant feats of art and science were achieved. No artist captured the dark, violent spirit of the time better than Caravaggio, variously known as Marisi, Moriggia, Merigi, and, sometimes, simply M. As art critic Robert Hughes has noted, "There was art before him and art after him, and they were not the same." Robb's masterful biography "re-creates the mirror Cravaggio held up to nature," as Hilary Spurling observed in The New York Times Book Review, "with singular delicacy as well as passion and panache."


Praise for M

"[Robb's] biography . . . comes across almost like an eyewitness account. His commentaries on the paintings convey a kind of informed passion in confrontation with genius . . . His account achieves both intimacy and vibrancy because of the richness of layering, its nonstop accumulation of analyzed detail."—Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"Robb's ambitions are lofty and, plainly put, it is hard not to be seduced by his prose."—The Washington Post

"Partisan, sharply personal, and well worth reading."—The Wall Street Journal

"Passionate, perceptive . . . [Robb] succeeds brilliantly in bringing to life one of the handful of figures in art history whose genius blazed so brightly that it illuminated an entire age and changed forever the course of European art."—The Baltimore Sun

"It is clear that Caravaggio is Robb's oyster, and he makes him ours, too."—The Boston Globe

"That rarest of hybrids, a cerebral thrill ride, and its indulgences are more than balanced by the brilliance of insight."—The Village Voice

"A feast of art appreciation, storytelling, and witty speculation."—Bookpage

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Peter Robb

Peter Robb was born in Australia and has lived in Naples and southern Italy for most of the past two decades. His first book, Midnight in Sicily, was a New York Times Notable Book and a New York Public Library Book of the Year.

Peter Robb