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By Andrew Graham-Dixon

In the culture of John Richardson's Picasso, a commanding new biography of the Italian master's tumultuous existence and mysterious death.
For 400 years Caravaggio's (1571-1610) brilliant inventive achievements have extremely joyful audience, but his unstable own trajectory-the homicide of Ranuccio Tomasini, the doubt surrounding Caravaggio's sexuality, the chain of occasions that started along with his imprisonment on Malta and ended together with his untimely death-has lengthy confounded historians. In a bravura functionality, Andrew Graham-Dixon delves into the unique Italian resources, providing clean information about Caravaggio's intercourse existence, his many crimes and public brawls, and the main convincing account but released of the painter's tragic demise on the age of thirty-eight. With illuminating readings of Caravaggio's notorious spiritual work, which regularly depict prostitutes and terrible humans, Graham-Dixon immerses readers on this planet of Italy on the top of the Counter-Reformation and creates a masterful profile of the mercurial painter's existence and paintings. forty pages of full-color illustrations, four maps

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315. ), The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. V, pp. 447–57. Pispisa, Il regno di Manfredi, p. 300. Introduction 25 himself crowned king of the Regno in Palermo. The coronation, undertaken in open defiance of Pope Alexander IV, demonstrated the strength of Manfred’s support among his new lay subjects, but provided a real stumbling-block to peace on the northern frontier of the kingdom,104 and some internal trouble. For churchmen who had attended the coronation, it brought the threat of excommunication and loss of office.

Introduction 23 Both the Regno’s geographical position and its agricultural crops made its harbours the ideal places for ships crossing the Mediterranean, whether from east to west or north to south, to rest and restock in the middle of the journey. Inhabitants of the Regno were involved in repairing ships and sails, baking ships’ biscuit, and carrying goods to the harbours, all under the close scrutiny of royal officials, there to ensure that all transactions both benefited the crown financially and were in the political interests of the monarch.

It possessed a code of royal law which gave it at least an apparent unity. Unlike France in the 1260s, it could not aspire to concentrate on internal matters; both its geographical position and its history of commerce made it constantly outward-looking. In possessing resources of gold, it was thought by its neighbours to be wealthier than it was. Its crops and the skills of its workforce made it a crucial stopping place for shipping in the Mediterranean. Many travellers therefore knew it well, and probably envied it.

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