- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Phaidon Press; First Paperback Edition edition (January 3, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0714839663
- ISBN-13: 978-0714839660
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Caravaggio First Paperback Edition Edition
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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 Moorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Neither the pedantic obscurantism nor the lurid biographical preoccupations that have marred recent studies of Caravaggio are present in this excellent opus. Puglisi's (art history, Rutgers Univ.) comprehensive overview covers what is known about the master with an unusually sensible and sensitive appreciation of the paintings and their place within his stylistic development. Caravaggio is insightfully situated in his art historical ambience, the paintings linked to a nexus of artistic influences. Refreshingly, the incisive iconographic explications of the paintings are articulated as expressions of the patrons' requirements and not as manifestations of the artist's psychological duress. A checklist of the master's oeuvre, an examination of his technique, and a selection of translated documents further enhance this exemplary study. Unusually fine and complete reproductions of the paintings and a plethora of comparative works complement the text. The elegant integration of biographical narrative, formal and intellectual characterization, and lavish illustration come together in what is now the best introduction to this pivotal figure.ARobert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Caravaggio has long been one of my top favorite artists, having had the good fortune of seeing a number of his works firsthand at several museums here in America and in Europe.
As an artist/author myself, I find many of Caravaggio’s works to be major contributions to the history of Western art. His “Crucifixion of St. Peter,” for instance, was utterly groundbreaking on many levels. His composition was boldly unique and extreme, with its shocking viewpoint and perspective, and captures the tragic moment with emotional drama and sheer technical perfection.
Naturally, there are numerous other pieces that I can expound upon, but suffice it to say, this robust edition on Caravaggio is a delight for any serious student of art or adult.
For those interested in inspiring children with great role models, including Caravaggio, peruse the whimsical picture book “Meet My Famous Friends.”
In closing, Puglisi’s volume here is a treasure trove of historical information about Caravaggio’s volatile life and times, and offers nicely reproduced artwork that’s worth every penny and a lot more. Although some plates are spread across two pages, causing irritating seams in the artwork, I cannot fault Puglisi for that, as I’m sure Phaidon made those calls. And despite the small font size of the text, which at least the lines were spaced far enough apart to give the pages visual relief, this volume is highly recommended for Puglisi’s well-researched and well-written text and, of course, for Caravaggio’s beautiful artwork. Bravo!
The color plates are reproduced with clarity and two-page extensions of the larger horizontal works aid the reader in gaining perspective. Multiple images of details offer close examination of Caravaggio's technique, a manner that continues to influence representational artists today.
Puglisi gratefully does not shy away from the controversial aspects of Caravaggio's life and sexuality. She deals with the facts and presents them in context with his concurrent paintings. The volume includes an exceptionally fine body of appendices that offers a complete checklist of the paintings including small reproductions of some, a terse bibliography, and a series of extracts from the myriad sources from which Puglisi extracted information.
The one criticism of this book, and it is a significant one, is the small type font in the pale gray ink selected by a designer who seems more concerned with 'making a pretty book' than in respecting the written word! But in the end this is a definitive volume about one of art history's more interesting and gifted painters. Grady Harp, December 05