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An excellent, nuanced book about the life and the works of Caravaggio.

The book builds on the various older biographies of Caravaggio and adds the most recent archival research to that. Sections of Caravaggio’s life that are well established to have happened are written in a fluent manner, as if the writer had been there to witness it himself. The parts of Caravaggio’s life that aren’t that well established, are being discussed from multiple angles.

Graham-Dixon takes into account the biographies that were written by Caravaggio’s contemporaries, much younger biographies, and newly found documents. When a final verdict still doesn’t seem to be possible, the writer presents his hypothesis about the situation. He never claims to be true, but he does seem to present all the available information from all aspects of Caravaggio’s life (his personality, contextual factors, the customs of the 16th century, the speed of traveling and more details that can provide more clarity to the interpretation of the events).

All in all, a very good read!

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