Peter Robb M

ISBN 13: 9780747548584

M

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M is the name of an enigma. In his short and violent life, Michaelangelo Merisi, from Caravaggio, changed art for ever. In the process, he laid bare his own sexual longing and the brutal realities of his life with shocking frankness. Like no painter before him and few since, M the man appears in his art. As a book about art and life and how they connect, there has never been anything quite like it. "A great read; it grabs, it kicks, it lives. Feel the force of Caravaggio's cutting edge" - "Guardian". "Written in a vehemently passionate and colloquial style, M is an abrasive, flawed, idiosyncratic book, but it is full of energy. Peter Robb's Caravaggio may not be entirely believable, but he is thoroughly alive, a being as full of mystery and contradictions as the painter once seemed to his contemporaries" - "Daily Telegraph".

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About the Author:

Peter Robb is the author of the widely-acclaimed MIDNIGHT IN SICILY. Born in Toorak, Australia, he has lived in Europe and South America for much of his adult life. He now lives in Sydney.

From Publishers Weekly:

Recognized now as a peer of 17th-century masters Rembrandt and Vermeer, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) painted notoriously provocative religious and classical tableaux, yet left few traces ("no letters, no table talk, no notebook or treatise") of his life beyond his art. Australian -born Robb, whose ex-pat tour-de-force Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel, & La Cosa Nostra took readers through that fascinating island, has created an idiosyncratic but dazzling biography of Caravaggio by exploiting almost every extant fragment, including a handful of sightings by friends and enemies, and the scanty Italian police files. More audaciously, Robb spreads through the life many pages on every known canvas, leaving appropriately theatrical description in his wake. Robb's Caravaggio--or "M," as he insists on calling the multimonikered and aliased painter--was a violent man of "hairtrigger touchiness," who fueled the passionate intensity of his painting with his professional and emotional frustrations, managing to register raw life in a religious culture that demanded, according to Robb, vapid holiness. Bisexual, he painted and loved pubescent boys, and patronized the female prostitutes he used as models. To great effect, Robb inserts reflections by the painter's contemporaries within his own sentences, offsetting them with italics rather than quotation marks: "M's repeated and humiliating requests for small advances from Masetti confirmed the need. That wasn't his style and he reddens whenever he sees me." He studs his own descriptions with odd words, obscenities and anachronistic, out-of-place contemporary references ("... like Ronald Reagan playing the cowboy"). Yet it all works--Robb's flawed, melodramatic, swollen biography is crammed with more about the dark, driven Caravaggio than any previous life. Just as Caravaggio took art to the edge, Robb takes biography there. 16 pages of illus., 8 in color, not seen by PW.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312274740: M : The Man Who Became Caravaggio

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ISBN 10:  0312274742 ISBN 13:  9780312274740
Publisher: Picador, 2001
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9781875989522: M

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