Caravaggio’s Leaden Corpse

Posted by Ann Donahue

“He died for his art” has become a cliché, but a team of researchers from the universities of Bologna and Ravenna now believe that the brilliant painter, notorious fighter, and possible murderer Caravaggio met just such a fate. Not only his death but also his tendency towards violence are both likely attributable to lead poisoning derived from his artistic medium.

On this, the anniversary of his death four hundred years ago, we at Ashgate prefer to focus not on Caravaggio’s irony-charged passing but on his legacy, to which tribute is paid in the following publications:

Pamela M. Jones’s Altarpieces and Their Viewers in the Churches of Rome from Caravaggio to Guido Reni presents early modern Catholicism and its art in an entirely new light by addressing the responses of members of all social classes – not just elites – to art created for the public.

The Pauline ontology of art in Caravaggio and Rembrandt is a feature of Christopher Braider’s Baroque Self-Invention and Historical Truth.

Richard Harries examines Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus in The Passion in Art.

For more titles on Baroque and Renaissance art, please visit the home page for Ashgate’s Art and Visual Studies list.


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