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Discovering Caravaggio: The Art Lover's Guide to Understanding the Paintings (Discovering (Rizzoli)) Hardcover – 1 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847835294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847835294
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 3 x 33.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 941,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This is a book I shall treasure for the rest of my life." Karen Platt's Book Review & Crafts"The content is rich in detail and the prints are delightful tease for any coffee table." LA2DAY

About the Author

Stefano Zuffi is one of Italy's most renowned art historians. Philippe Daverio is the director of the famed French art magazine "Art e Dossier."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Platt TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover
Of all the art books I have read recently - this is one I have thoroughly enjoyed. Caravaggio has not always been appreciated and it is difficult to understand why. He is a master of character, of figure and proportion. The double page spreads in this book are good reproductions. In addition, you have the cut-out windows highlighting details and drawing your attention to them. The text tells us things we might otherwise miss. By blocking out part of the painting, your eye concentrates on the details. It is really like looking at the painting with an expert art critic who knows how to put the meaning across to anyone, whether art expert or not. There is also a good description of each painting that puts its meaning across clearly. This is a fabulous book that is not stuffy in its treatment of the paintings and has much to offer. This is a book I shall treasure for the rest of my life. It is very reasonably priced. I look forward to more in this series. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MD on 10 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Caravaggio is one of my favourite artists but it is always tricky to order something without being able to have a good look at it first and decide if it offers value for money.
I would highly recommend this book because it not only gives you great reproductions of his masterpieces but also highlights points of interest in his works by clever use of "cut-outs" on pages that sit on top of the paintings. I will happily browse through this book and then look at the actual paintings and be able to understand and appreciate Caravaggio's genius even more.
If you like Caravaggio, this is the book for you.
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By I. Harden on 24 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this for my partner and it is a really good book, excellent detail and the picture frame bits add to seeing bits you may not know the meaning of.

good for the coffee table and dipping in and out of. image quality is excellent to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Caravaggio's Genius Dissected 30 Nov 2010
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 - 1610) remains one of the most revered Italian artists of his time and continues to influence artists today for his extraordinarily realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, and for his dramatic (an much imitated) use of lighting. It is then appropriate for authors Stefano Zuffi and Philippe Daverio to approach the fifty one of the master's paintings with attention drawn to details of each of these paintings with the useful technique of making overlay pages with die-cut windows to heighten the readers attention to specific details. While this may sound like a teaching lesson carried too far, the drama the authors create in using this technique is so successful that they provide ways to examine Caravaggio's particular gifts as a painter better than anyone has attempted to date.

This book serves not only the academic world but also the art lover world. Written as an accompaniment to an exhibition at Rome's Scudrie del Quirinale on the four hundredth anniversary of Caravaggio's death, the book serves as a catalogue - if only the exhibition had been able to showcase all of the paintings included here: they are spread throughout the world in museums and this is probably the only time the public can obtain an overview of the genius' spectrum in such an intense setting. In addition to the very famous paintings of this artist are lesser known paintings, beautifully reproduced on quality paper with excellent color saturation (the book is published by Rizzoli). Such paintings as 'The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew' and 'The Conversion of St Paul', using the die-cut windows allow us to study carefully the faces of the subjects, allows appreciation for the first time the depth of understanding and spiritual sensitivity of these depictions.

This may be the first book to invite the critical eye to details of paintings whose impact is so strong that without the guidance of Zuffi and Daverio many of these incredible details may go unnoticed or overlooked. This is a fine treasury of Caravaggio's work and a very well written book of both admiration and critical examination. Very highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 10
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
understandable art 15 Feb 2011
By K. Platt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Of all the art books I have read recently - this is one I have thoroughly enjoyed. Caravaggio has not always been appreciated and it is difficult to understand why. He is a master of character, of figure and proportion. The double page spreads in this book are good reproductions. In addition, you have the cut-out windows highlighting details and drawing your attention to them. The text tells us things we might otherwise miss. By blocking out part of the painting, your eye concentrates on the details. It is really like looking at the painting with an expert art critic who knows how to put the meaning across to anyone, whether art expert or not. There is also a good description of each painting that puts its meaning across clearly. This is a fabulous book that is not stuffy in its treatment of the paintings and has much to offer. This is a book I shall treasure for the rest of my life. It is very reasonably priced. I look forward to more in this series. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Underwhelming insights 21 Sep 2011
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has fairly good reproductions of the art, but the "discovering" part of it didn't bring me a lot of insights. In the works of others, there is more insight into the symbolism, particularly the arcane religious symbolism that was used in his time. The authors take a lot of the long-standing legends about Caravaggio at face value, and they did not apply skepticism evenly throughout the work. Furthermore, they seemed more interested in genitalia and breasts than in the less obvious details of the works. If the book is meant to aid discovery, then it should point out things that are less obvious.

The overlays with cutouts are actually a good idea, but end-up being a utilized in a way that doesn't capture all of the important details. Only getting 2 stars instead of one because of fairly high quality images, and a few areas-- like the discussion of severed heads-- that were somewhat thought provoking.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous book --- 10 Feb 2011
By Bookworm66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Windows" frame certain aspects of a painting before one turns a page to see it in its entirety. A refreshing way to look at a painting and a prompt to look more closely. This is a wonderful book......
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Discovering Caravaggio through an Effective New Format 5 Jun 2011
By Loves the View - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Assembling 51 Caravaggio paintings in one work is an important enough project, but this book is more. Each painting is overlaid by a page of cut outs which frame significant portions of the work. There is commentary adjacent to the framing. I have not seen this technique before. It is very effective. By isolating the elements, you can see much more clearly, the points of interest.

The chronological arrangement and the assembly on a single page of cropped photos of like features (flowers and fruit, heads, recurring models) helps you to see and understand the work even better. For some paintings there is a double paged blow up.

The narrative and the points aside the frames are just enough to inform and not distract from the works. Caravaggio's interesting life is told in the narrative and a chronology in the back.

Caravaggio scholar, Stefano Zuffi and Rizzoli have done a fabulous job in putting this together.
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