As an introduction to my Caravaggio novel A NAME IN BLOOD, here’s a short story about an incident in the artist’s life that was very striking to me, but which didn’t fit with the narrative of the novel. In “Lazarus’s Brush” Caravaggio flees the men who seek to kill him and arrives in Sicily. He’s commissioned to paint the raising of Lazarus. The result teaches him about his fears of the violence that stalks him — but more than that it represents a profound change in his artistic technique, inspiring him as an artist in the face of desperate circumstances.
- October 16, 2012