In the course of a short and violent life, Michelangelo Merisl da Caravaggio (1571-1610) revolutionized painting, producing a style of shockingly immediate realism that swept through Europe.
The impact of his art and personality continue to resonate to this day.
Almost everything we know about Caravaggio's life comes from these three early biographies, which reflect the sometimes horrified fascination that Caravaggio exerted on his contemporaries.
Giulio Mancini was Caravaggio's doctor; Giovanni Baglione a bitter rival and art historian; Giovanni Pietro Baglione the most judicious art historian of the following generation.
All three provide a vivid picture of a man whose life reads in part like a thriller, as well as a fascinating window onto a world and habits of seeing that were mercilessly challenged by his art.
This edition is the first independent publication of these Lives of Caravaggio.
It is Introduced by the leading expert on the painter, Dr. Helen Langdon, who elucidates the historical and artistic context of these biographies and the men who wrote them. 29 pages of colour illustrations cover the span of Caravaggio's astonishing career.