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Caravaggio Hardcover – September 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Skira; First English Language Edition edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8857204588
  • ISBN-13: 978-8857204581
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.9 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,873,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reich Claude on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the catalogue for the Caravaggio exhibition held in Rome, at the Scuderie del Quirinale until june 2010 to celebrate the fourth centenary of the artist's death. To say that it is a complete retrospective of the artist's output would be painting this book with too broad a brush, as two major paintings are missing (the Fortune Teller and the Death of the Virgin) as well as obviously some of the larger Roman church commissions such as the Conversion of Saint Paul at the Cerasi chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo or the Saint Matthew cycle at the Contarelli chapel in the San Luigi dei Francesi church in Rome.

The book itself is divided into two essays that try to evacuate the myth in the artist's biography and concentrate on his qualities as a painter, which is actually the only way to study Caravaggio's biography, since many documents are missing, especially on his youth and early years. Those two introductory essays are somewhat pompous (lengthy paragraphs on pages 27-28 are devoted to thanking and listing the various personalities who enabled the exhibition, whether art officials or politicians, who were already mentioned and thanked in the opening pages of the book...), but still bring forth some interesting elements about Caravaggio's working method and the issues of attribution. Then follow interesting and well documented individual studies of the 26 paintings in the exhibition, some very famous (the Lute Player, Bacchus, the Basket of Fruit, Sleeping Cupid...) and some less so (John the Baptist from the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas, the Conversion of Saint Paul held in a private Italian collection...). On the whole, the text is informative and didactic and tries to avoid pedantry and unnecessary erudition.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ivor E. Zetler on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a catalog of an extensive Caravaggio exhibition held in Rome this year. The book begins with a brief overview of the artist's life. This is followed by a discussion (around 4 pages per painting) of the 26 Caravaggio exhibits. There are full page color illustrations of each work and additional detail photographs.

While the text by various writers is informative, I found the color of the illustrations disappointingly dull in quality. From memory the originals certainly did not seem lifeless and insipid as seen in this book. Certainly compared to the large Taschen/Schutze volume, this issue is a considerable letdown. While I note the observations by some reviewers of the Taschen book that the reproductions are not realistic, I found them thrilling.It is my opinion that the Taschen is the book to acquire for an excellent representation of Caravaggio's artistic output.
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Format: Hardcover
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 - 18 July 1610) is one of the most famous Italian painters of history. 'His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.' This book is a well-produced and elegant catalogue that accompanied the official exhibition of the painter's works in Rome in 2010 an as such it is rich in the typical pompous introductions by the Mayor of Rome and other dignitaries, hailing the genius of their proud son! It is a curious turn of events form Caravaggio's time when Rome and all of Italy suppressed this painter for his sociopathic behavior and florid sensual appetites. But time changes many bits of pertinent information that informed the great works of his painter and this catalogue is a generous examination of the true works of Caravaggio.

The concept behind the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue is that of curator Claudio Strinati: the exhibition would be limited to the twenty four paintings proven to be the works of Caravaggio and not paintings 'attributed' to him. Each painting in the collection, gathered from around the world, is accompanied by an essay by a series of notable art historians and critics who have us look at the entire painting and then focus on detail of each painting that dramatize the significance of that particular work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles F. Held Jr. on December 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First let us establish what this book is: it is the catalog of the Scuderie del Quirinale Caravaggio exhibit staged in Rome for the 400th anniversary of the artist's death. The exhibit featured 26 works of the artist, or approximately half of his portable works (Caravaggio created many chapel and altar pieces that still reside in churches in Rome, Malta, Sicily and Naples). The reader in search of a "complete works" volume will have to look elsewhere.

That being said, this book is a good if not great souvenir of the exhibit. First, it includes all the paintings that spent any time in the exhibit (eight of the works were not shown for its entire run). Second, as other reviewers have stated the text is generally informative and objective. However the illustrations suffer from a desaturated, earthen color palette. It's subtle, I mean it's not "Saving Private Ryan", but it definitely removes a level of depth and "snap". On the plus side, exposure and thus detail are more accurately executed than in the massive Schutze volume, and the text is more readable than the silver-on-gray of the Puglisi.
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