Notorious bad boy of Italian Baroque painting, Caravaggio (1571–1610) is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Though his name may be familiar to all of us, his work had been habitually detested and forced into obscurity. Not only was his theatrical realism unfashionable in his time, but his sacrilegious subject matter and use of lower-class models were violently scorned.
Caravaggio’s great work had the misfortune of enduring centuries of disrepute. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that he was rediscovered and, quite posthumously, deemed a great master. He is now considered the most important painter of the early Baroque period; without him there would have been no Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Vermeer or Georges de La Tour. Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Delacroix, and Manet would have been different.
In this anniversary edition you’ll find over 50 of Caravaggio’s best paintings; we think you’ll agree that he was a genius beyond his time.
Gilles Néret (1933–2005) was an art historian, journalist, writer and museum correspondent. He organized several art retrospectives in Japan and founded the SEIBU museum and the Wildenstein Gallery in Tokyo. He directed art reviews such as L'Œil and Connaissance des Arts and received the Elie Faure Prize in 1981 for his publications. His TASCHEN titles include Salvador Dalí: The Paintings, Matisse, and Erotica Universalis.
Gilles Lambert was born in Paris in 1928. In love with Italy, he spent his whole life between the capitals Paris and Rome and translated a number of works on the Seicento from the Italian. With André Labarthe, he founded the journal Constellation in the 1950s, and subsequently worked for the Figaro Littéraire and Paris Match. He has written monographs on Auguste Mariette and Caravaggio.
About the Series
Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions