Friday, February 8, 2013

Caravaggio and the Corpse

More titillating facts from the book, The Secret Lives of Great Artists by Elizabeth Lunday.  

Caravaggio and the Corpse

Caravaggio was a naturalist and his personality often lent toward extremes.  Painting in Lazarus Returning from the Dead, he decided to make it as realistic as possible, so he had two men dig up a fresh corpse and instructed them to hold the dead body while he painted.  The men were overcome by the smell of death and dropped the body. They had intended to run, but Caravaggio drew a dagger and told them to stay and continue.  The men did so, as Caravaggio already had quite an infamous reputation for temperament and violence!
(source, Secrets of Great Artists)

Lazarus Return from the Dead by Caravaggio  from google image        for educational uses only

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