Author(s): Annabel Howard
Mercurial, saturnine, scandalous and unpredictable, Caravaggio - as a man, as a character and as an artist - holds dramatic appeal. He spent a large part of his life on the run, leaving a trail of illuminated chaos wherever he passed, most of it recorded in criminal justice records. When he did settle for long enough to paint, he produced works of staggering creativity and technical innovation. He was famous throughout Italy for his fulminating temper, but also for his radical and sensitive humanisation of biblical stories, and in particular his decision to include the brutal and dirty life of the street in his paintings. Caravaggio was a rebel and a violent man, but he eyed the world with deep empathy, realism and an unrelenting honesty.
Annabel Howard has a degree in Art History from Christ Church, Oxford, and a Masters in Biographical Writing from the University of East Anglia. She has taught and lectured in museums throughout the United Kingdom and Italy, and has contributed articles to magazines including Glass, the Spectator, and the White Review.