Posts Tagged "research"


To research A Name in Blood, my novel about the mystery of Caravaggio’s death, I traveled to all the places where the great artist lived and worked. I visited galleries around the world to stand before his masterpieces, and I read scores of books about him and the period in which he lived. (I don’t expect praise for this; it was no sacrifice, because most of the research was carried out in Italy. It’s a bit like saying, “I had...

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Rescuing Caravaggio from a Bad Rap


Posted By on Jun 12, 2012

He was a raging psycho, an uncontrollably lustful homosexual, and a bit of a bitch. Somehow he also managed to produce some of the most sensitive and innovative art ever painted, much of it clearly based on a sophisticated understanding of theology and optical science. For many art historians and almost all creative artists writing about or otherwise depicting Caravaggio, the gay psycho bitch has predominated. But I wasn’t drawn to...

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In the chapel of the Pio Monte della Misericordia, I stood before the great painting now known as Seven Works of Mercy (Caravaggio called it Our Lady of Mercy.) The noise and chaos of Naples’s narrow streets spilled through the door of the chapel, just as they had in Caravaggio’s day. I wondered at the force of personality and the drive to create that enabled him to paint this phenomenal work of devotion and love, while separated by a...

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