The Instrument of Caravaggio
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A new English Edition with the Chapter "Modernity&Digits" and several galleries. This edition moves the experience of reading at a new level not only for practical reasons (transportability, easy access to notes, definitions of words, notes taking) but also for cognitive reasons. For example, in this book the creation of the gallery of portraits by Caravaggio allows a simultaneous cross referencing almost impossible in a normal book. In any case, at the center of the reading experience remains the text. Caravaggio revolutionizes conventions of uniform illumination in painting by introducing the sudden blinding “flash” of light. His compositions establish a stage from which his figures pierce the picture plane. His own life mirrors the precarious balance of his paintings’ compositions. The artist’s works manifest a sense of fleeting equilibrium reliant on the camera obscura’s fragile balance on a single point and moment in time; easily shattered by the slightest movement.
These captured moments that Caravaggio creates are the very first in the new world: men speak of themselves, of their being real, of their human wretchedness, but aspire nonetheless to their fragile existence, projected through the pinhole of the camera obscura.