From Library Journal
Spike's opus is suspended between two eras of the technology of literacy. A well-illustrated text is given over to a chronologically structured study of the artist's life and work, while an enclosed CD-ROM provides a densely detailed catalogue raisonn . While the mass of documentation found in the electronic component of this catalog will be of considerable value to serious students of art history, the book proper does little to advance our understanding of the art or enlarge our appreciation of the significance of the artist. Sporadic efforts to relate the artist to a broad range of contemporary scientific and religious thought, while at times insightful, can also sometimes seem excessive and improbable. Consistent formal scrutiny is also too often slighted in favor of iconographic readings that range from the erudite but plausible to the recondite but strained. Catherine Puglisi's Caravaggio (LJ 4/1/99) is a superior introduction to the artist and his works, while Helen Langdon's Caravaggio: A Life (LJ 6/1/99) is a superior biographical and contextual study. Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
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About the Author
Rossella Vodret is the Director of the Polo Museale in Rome. Francesco Buranelli is secretary of the Pontifical Commision for Cultural Heritage.