New Caravaggio biography casts light on Renaissance hellraiser (By Roya Nikkhah, Arts Correspondent, TELEGRAPH)

As one of history’s most enigmatic and influential artists, Caravaggio’s short but colourful life has been the subject of wild speculation and conspiracy theories for four centuries.

But a new book on the Renaissance’s most tempestuous artist sheds fresh light on the Italian painter whose hot temper was as renowned as his work, and who died after a violent life aged 38.  Since his death 400 years ago, mystery has surrounded the painter of such masterpieces as The Death of the Virgin and David Victorious over Goliath, who influenced the likes of Velázquez and Rembrandt.  Historians have remained in the dark about the final years of his life, during which Caravaggio committed murder and fled to Malta, instigating a fateful chain of events which led to his death.  Last week, scientists in Italy searching for Caravaggio’s remains claimed that he may have died from lead poisoning from his paints, but admitted that fragments of bones they tested might not be Caravaggio‘s and that they were still struggling to discover the truth about his death.  But now, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon, the art critic, uncovers new details on pivotal events during the artist’s turbulent career, suggesting that the artist was sexually adventurous, worked as a pimp and may have fathered an illegitimate child… READ MORE ON TELEGRAPH.COM


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