Posts Tagged ‘The Adoration of the Shepherds’


Pound for pound, Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Caravaggio: A Life Sacred And Profane, the shipping weight is 2.2 pounds, will give a lover of art more value than the best of fruit cakes or a heavily handicapped Tiffany bobble.  What you don’t know about the painter and what you have yet to learn about viewing his work could fill a book and it has.  This is a biography to keep.  Put it on your e-reader if you are traveling and expect to see his work.

Because it is the Christmas season I selected for illustration The Adoration of the Shepherds and to prove a point.  Look carefully at the painting, then tell me if you see anything false or fanciful.  Describe the faith of the artist; no, not an easy task for anyone but made more likely by Graham-Dixon’s masterful research, interpretation, and speculation.

There is, I am sorry to write, a very big drawback with the book.  The illustrations are far too small and too dark to follow the author as he explains what Caravaggio painted and why.  You will need a companion volume showing the paintings to better advantage to get the full thrust of the scholarship.  Or, turn to the internet for the illustrations.

Whatever you do, make this your Caravaggio Christmas.  Charles Marlin

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