The other day, as happens on so many occasions, I was taking four box-loads of books to be traded in at my local Half Price book store. While waiting for the girl to appraise my, um, ... stack, I came across two super nice Caravaggio books.
The first (pictured at left) is actually a very recent hardback catalog for a Caravaggio exhibition that ran from February 20th to June 13th of this year at a museum in Italy called “Scuderie del Quirinale” in Rome. It has got the best reproductions I have seen in any book about Caravaggio. I love exhibition catalogs mainly for that reason, the images are super quality. I also love catalogs because the book won't be reprinted in various additions over time since it's specific to a certain exhibit, which in my mind makes it more unique. Of course the book also contains essays on each piece in the exhibit by such noted Caravaggio experts as Francesca Cappelletti, Sergio Benedetti, and Mina Gregori. All of whom I read about, and can put into a certain context in my mind, thanks to a fantastic book I read back in the spring called “The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece” by Jonathan Harr. (I can’t plug that book enough. What a great read!)
Click here to go to the Scuderie del Quirinale Caravaggio exhibit page. I've been toggling back to the museum’s site as I write this and it looks really interesting, and is housed in a location with quite a history.
The second find (pictured at top right) is a Taschen book in their artist series. These are concise little paperbacks that you’ve probably seen before, although some are probably out of print. I have bought a few of these over the years, but didn't actually know there was one on Caravaggio, so I couldn’t resist. I've found the writing and the "facts" in these books to be somewhat questionable but they're still nice books to have.
So to end this post I’ll tell you that all I got for my trade in at Half Price was a measly fifty cents! While I spent about eighty times that on these two gems!
Yeah, it's an addiction.