The Guardian of Mercy: How an Extraordinary Painting by Caravaggio Changed an Ordinary Life Today

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9781628725926: The Guardian of Mercy: How an Extraordinary Painting by Caravaggio Changed an Ordinary Life Today
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Now celebrated as one of the great painters of the Renaissance, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio fled Rome in 1606 to escape retribution for killing a man in a brawl. Three years later he was in Naples, where he painted The Seven Acts of Mercy. A year later he died at the age of thirty-eight under mysterious circumstances. Exploring Caravaggio's singular masterwork, in The Guardian of Mercy Terence Ward offers an incredible narrative journey into the heart of his artistry and his metamorphosis from fugitive to visionary.

Ward's guide in this journey is a contemporary artist whose own life was transformed by the painting, a simple man named Angelo who shows him where it still hangs in a small church in Naples and whose story helps him see its many layers. As Ward unfolds the structure of the painting, he explains each of the seven mercies and its influence on Caravaggio's troubled existence. Caravaggio encountered the whole range of Naples's vertical social layers, from the lowest ranks of poverty to lofty gilded aristocratic circles, and Ward reveals the old city behind today's metropolis. Fusing elements of history, biography, memoir, travelogue, and journalism, his narrative maps the movement from estrangement to grace, as we witness Caravaggio's bruised life gradually redeemed by art.

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About the Author:

Terence Ward was born in Boulder, Colorado, and spent his childhood in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Also the author of Searching for Hassan (Anchor 2003), he is a cross-cultural consultant who has advised corporations and governments in the Islamic world and the West.

Review:

"The author provides a rich tapestry that intricately weaves the story of an iconic painter and his influence on the viewer."--San Francisco Chronicle

"The Guardian of Mercy is just superb. And bold. I can't think of a book quite like it. Just brilliant.--Pete Hamill, author of Forever, Snow in August, A Drinking Life, Tabloid City

"I was stunned by Ward's account. This book does everything art writing should do. I am pleased beyond envy." —David Carrier, author of Proust/Warhol: Analytical Philosophy of Art and A World Art History and its Objects

“Ecstatic and soul-searching. Written with grace, with almost every sentence imparting an epiphany. An electrifying reading experience and a wondrous book on Caravaggio . . . Ward challenges us to undertake soul-work, even if one is a secular reader. Here, reading is an act of empathy and potential readers will read the book with passion and compassion, thereby becoming, in the words of Wallace Stevens, "necessary angels."--Pelligrino d'Acierno, Director of Italian Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature, Hofstra University

"Ward's work offers a refreshing look at a once-forgotten—but now much-celebrated—artistic genius. The author also reveals the subtle and profound ways in which art and life interact. Fascinating reading about a significant artistic figure and his legacy."--Kirkus

“Strangely compelling . . . a charming departure from the typical narrative of art history. . . . Ward weaves the story of Caravaggio—who was accused of several counts of murder and condemned to a death sentence by the pope, and who eventually died a mysterious, lonely death—with the contemporary story of a guard . . . stationed at Pio Monte della Misericordia."--Publishers Weekly

"Anyone interested in art and its power to change lives will appreciate this thoughtful work."–Booklist

“This is a story of grace! Terence Ward's powerful, moving narrative interweaves Caravaggio's life story with those of people in contemporary Naples whose lives are transformed by the power of art—and mercy."-- Elaine Pagels, Harrington Professor of Religion, Princeton University
Praise for Searching for Hassan

"Astonishing and deeply poignant." -- The Washington Post

"Quixotic, colorful and amusing. . . . An unexpected ode to Iran." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Informative and touching . . . provides a marvelously nuanced portrait of Iran." -- Francine Prose, Elle

"Ward describes a more intricate image of a nation caught in a tug of war with itself. . . . He shows the country in all its complexity." -- Los Angeles Times

"[A] nostalgic, sometimes harrowing pilgrimage." -- The New Yorker

"A wonderfully tactile, rich book . . . written from the right place (the heart), and with the right kind of search in mind (the search for grace)." -- Esquire

"Ward's sympathetic and humane portrayals of everyday Iranians can help us transcend today's policy papers and State Department briefings in order to find commonalities." -- USA Today

Searching for Hassan should be required reading for US foreign policy makers." -- BookPage

"Ward hooks the reader with his unique past and observant eye." -- Detroit Free Press

"A powerful memoir that plumbs the depths of Iranian culture and tradition. . . . A memorable journey." -- Library Journal

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9781628728187: The Guardian of Mercy: How an Extraordinary Painting by Caravaggio Changed an Ordinary Life Today

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ISBN 10:  1628728183 ISBN 13:  9781628728187
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Book Description Skyhorse Publishing, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Now celebrated as one of the great painters of the Renaissance, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio fled Rome in 1606 to escape retribution for killing a man in a brawl. Three years later he was in Naples, where he painted The Seven Acts of Mercy. A year later he died at the age of thirty-eight under mysterious circumstances. Exploring Caravaggio's singular masterwork, in The Guardian of Mercy Terence Ward offers an incredible narrative journey into the heart of his artistry and his metamorphosis from fugitive to visionary. Ward's guide in this journey is a contemporary artist whose own life was transformed by the painting, a simple man named Angelo who shows him where it still hangs in a small church in Naples and whose story helps him see its many layers. As Ward unfolds the structure of the painting, he explains each of the seven mercies and its influence on Caravaggio's troubled existence. Caravaggio encountered the whole range of Naples's vertical social layers, from the lowest ranks of poverty to lofty gilded aristocratic circles, and Ward reveals the old city behind today's metropolis. Fusing elements of history, biography, memoir, travelogue, and journalism, his narrative maps the movement from estrangement to grace, as we witness Caravaggio's bruised life gradually redeemed by art. Seller Inventory # AAC9781628725926

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Book Description Skyhorse Publishing, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Now celebrated as one of the great painters of the Renaissance, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio fled Rome in 1606 to escape retribution for killing a man in a brawl. Three years later he was in Naples, where he painted The Seven Acts of Mercy. A year later he died at the age of thirty-eight under mysterious circumstances. Exploring Caravaggio's singular masterwork, in The Guardian of Mercy Terence Ward offers an incredible narrative journey into the heart of his artistry and his metamorphosis from fugitive to visionary. Ward's guide in this journey is a contemporary artist whose own life was transformed by the painting, a simple man named Angelo who shows him where it still hangs in a small church in Naples and whose story helps him see its many layers. As Ward unfolds the structure of the painting, he explains each of the seven mercies and its influence on Caravaggio's troubled existence. Caravaggio encountered the whole range of Naples's vertical social layers, from the lowest ranks of poverty to lofty gilded aristocratic circles, and Ward reveals the old city behind today's metropolis. Fusing elements of history, biography, memoir, travelogue, and journalism, his narrative maps the movement from estrangement to grace, as we witness Caravaggio's bruised life gradually redeemed by art. Seller Inventory # AAC9781628725926

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Book Description Skyhorse Publishing, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Now celebrated as one of the great painters of the Renaissance, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio fled Rome in 1606 to escape retribution for killing a man in a brawl. Three years later he was in Naples, where he painted The Seven Acts of Mercy. A year later he died at the age of thirty-eight under mysterious circumstances. Exploring Caravaggio's singular masterwork, in The Guardian of Mercy Terence Ward offers an incredible narrative journey into the heart of his artistry and his metamorphosis from fugitive to visionary. Ward's guide in this journey is a contemporary artist whose own life was transformed by the painting, a simple man named Angelo who shows him where it still hangs in a small church in Naples and whose story helps him see its many layers. As Ward unfolds the structure of the painting, he explains each of the seven mercies and its influence on Caravaggio's troubled existence. Caravaggio encountered the whole range of Naples's vertical social layers, from the lowest ranks of poverty to lofty gilded aristocratic circles, and Ward reveals the old city behind today's metropolis. Fusing elements of history, biography, memoir, travelogue, and journalism, his narrative maps the movement from estrangement to grace, as we witness Caravaggio's bruised life gradually redeemed by art. Seller Inventory # BTE9781628725926

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