Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1609-10, 125 x 101 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome (image in public domain)
My academic work involves well over 15 years of research and study on the master Baroque Painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. This research includes many never before presented ideas and theories on areas of his life, art, philosophy, and death.
My journey has taken me all over Europe in discovery of new insights, perspectives and evidence that all align to a greater understanding of who this painter really was and what really happened in 1610.
Caravaggio’s Darkness: A Sinner’s Reputation with a Saint’s Heart
Published by the State University of New York at Buffalo, 2014, 195 pages
Publication Number: 1553076 ProQuest Web Link
One of the most elusive art historical biographies belongs to Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Having pieced together his biography using police records, historians have classified Caravaggio as violent and irascible. Contemporary biographies, covetous and quite biased, have further skewed our understanding of the artist, even suggesting that he was an atheist and obsessed with death and decapitation. Most significantly is the claim that Caravaggio’s darkness in his personal life was the catalyst in his extensive employment of chiaroscuro. Though it is probable Caravaggio had personal adversity, as Walter Friedlander famously suspected, I propose rather, the radical shift in style was in direct response to the ideas deriving from completely orthodox and well-disseminated spiritual notions of his day. Moreover, I argue Caravaggio’s darkness was used in referent to metaphorical darkness. Metaphorically, Caravaggio’s darkness may well be explained by his associations with notions of spiritual darkness, emphasized in the well-entrenched traditions of Christian mysticism.