Caravaggio: Art, Knighthood, and Malta
Midsea Books for the History of Art Programme, University of Malta, 2006 - Chivalry - 138 pages
Caravaggio's sojourn on the island of Malta in 1607-08 is one of the most fascinating episodes in Baroque art. The painter had committed a murder in Rome in May 1606 and subsequently fled to Naples, where he soon became well-known for his gritty, naturalistic altarpieces. Suddenly, in the early summer of 1607, he decided to leave his thriving Neapolitan studio for the newly built city of Valletta, the headquarters of the Knights of Malta. The chance to obtain a knighthood and redeem himself for his Roman crime was no doubt foremost in his mind. Written by two leading authorities in the field, this richly illustrated book tells the story of Caravaggio's voyage to Malta, his interactions with the Knights and their leader, Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, and the magnificent paintings he made for them. Among the works he produced on the island are the Beheading of St John the Baptist - his largest and only signed picture - and the St Jerome Writing, a canvas of exceptional psychological force. The book presents new iconographic, technical, and stylistic analyses of the Maltese pictures; two chapters devoted to discussions of Caravaggio's importance in the history of art; and discussion of the chronological problems in his late works. Based on original archival research, this study also includes an account of Caravaggio's crime in Malta, his imprisonment, and his daring escape to Sicily.
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A Chronology for the Final Years
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Alof de Wignacourt armour arms arrival artist attributed Beheading of St Bellori canvas Caravaggio Chapel chapter church collection composition copy David detail discussed documents earlier early escape exhibition figures Final Florence Francesco galleys Grand Master habit hand head Hibbard immediately important island Italian Italy John the Baptist John's knighthood Knights Knights of Malta known late later London Louvre Macioce Malta Maltese Marini Martelli mentioned Messina Michelangelo months Museum Naples Neapolitan noted Oratory Oratory of San Order Order of St original painter painting Palace patrons perhaps period person picture Pitti portrait powerful present probably received recently reference remains Roman Rome San Giovanni Decollato Sciberras Sciberras-Stone Sebregondi seems shows Sicily Sleeping Cupid St Jerome St John St John's Co-Cathedral Stone style suggested suit Valletta Vincenzo Giustiniani Wignacourt Writing