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Caravaggio's Pitiful Relics

Todd P. Olson

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300190131 / ISBN 13: 9780300190137
Published by Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014
Condition: Near Fine Plus Hardcover
From art longwood books (Rockport, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

cloth, hard cover in dust jacket., only the slightest signs of handling to exterior. clean, no markings of any sort. tight binding. no tears, clips, creases.; xi-248pp., 157 illustrations in color, b/w. examines caravaggio's interpretations of martyred saints and their relics or attributes vis-a-vis the counter-reformation and the painter's radical compositional and stylistic reworkings of traditional themes. Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 17564

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Caravaggio's Pitiful Relics

Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine Plus

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine Plus

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

The renowned Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) established his career in Catholic Rome, making paintings that placed particular importance on sacred relics and the glorification of martyred saints. Beginning with his early works, Caravaggio was intensely engaged with the physical world. He not only interrogated appearances but also experimented with the paint’s material nature. Caravaggio’s Pitiful Relics explores how the artist’s commitment to materiality served and ultimately challenged the Counter Reformation church’s interests. In his first ecclesiastical commission, Caravaggio offered an unconventional representation of martyrdom that collapsed the borders between art, contemporary religious persecution, iconoclasm, and relics in early Christian catacombs. Yet his art controversially and eventually led to a criminal trial. After he had fled from Rome in disgrace, his major altarpiece depicting the death of the Virgin Mary, portraying her mortality rather than her sanctity, was removed. Caravaggio’s materiality came into conflict with changing notions of the sacred; thereafter, the sacred object became a secular work of art, marking the displacement of the relic.

Book Description:

This thought-provoking volume explores how Caravaggio’s interest in materiality conflicted with the Catholic Church’s ideas about the sanctity of relics, resulting in controversies surrounding his paintings in early-17th-century Rome. 

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