CRF Blog


by Bill Hayes

Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane tells the story of the Italian painter’s tumultuous life (1571–1610).

From the New York Times Book Review:

His world was perilous and bloody. Born a week before the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, when Turkish invaders were driven out of Christendom with fearsome slaughter on both sides, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was just 6 years old when bubonic plague killed virtually every man in his family, including his father. He grew up contentious, aggressive and touchy. As a young man he roamed the streets in search of trouble with a band of “painters and swordsmen who lived by the motto nec spe, nec metu, ‘without hope, without fear,’ ” according to an early biographer, who might have been describing the opportunistic gangs bent on looting and rioting in the capitals of Europe today. [more]

Below Graham-Dixon talks about his book.